The minister said “most houses” in Litton, BC, were destroyed by the catastrophic fire
As a catastrophic fire destroyed a small village in Fraser Canyon, British Columbia, dozens of families were forced to flee their homes and are now struggling to find relatives scattered during the evacuation, while emergency officials urgently tried to help the community Everyone confessed.
On Wednesday, more than 1,000 people living in Litton, British Columbia, and surrounding areas in northeastern Vancouver, were forced to leave without any notice. They rushed out of town because the smoke and flames almost destroyed the entire community, which is one of the most devastating fire emergencies in recent memory.
The province said on Thursday that the damage included “most of the houses” and buildings in the village, as well as the local ambulance station and RCMP detachment. The local councillor said that 90% of the people in the village are gone.
Online community groups are flooded with posts from people who desperately need information about family, friends, and pets. Officials said the challenge will be to try to confirm where residents have gone and get them to contact their families.
Thompson-Nicola Chief Administrative Officer Scott Hildebrand said: “We have also received calls from people looking for family and loved ones. It is really difficult due to power outages and the collapse of cell phone towers, but we are working hard to solve this problem.” District Week Four told CBC News earlier.
“One of the challenges we face now is that we let people leave in all different directions.”
BC Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said that the RCMP is investigating the location of any unaccounted residents, but could not provide exact numbers.
Watch | Farmer and business owner Jon Mundall talks about the dire situation facing Lytton:
In a statement, the Lytton RCMP stated that it is currently unsafe for anyone to enter the town and has deployed an additional 100 police officers to assist in the investigation.
RCMP Commander Dwayne MacDonald said: “The situation is being continuously evaluated. If it is safe, we will enter the area for an official search, especially for anyone who is injured or missing.”
Federal Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan told CBC that the federal government is also coordinating with the BC government on how to provide support.
“We will also study what support is needed for future reconstruction itself,” he said.
‘The town was burned down’
The Mayor of Lytton, Jan Polderman, signed the official evacuation order at 6 pm on Wednesday. He said that before officials had a chance to coordinate where people were going, the village was shrouded in fire, so many people had just started driving.
“The town was burned down,” Bodman said in a hoarse voice at the home of a family member in Maple Ridge, British Columbia
“I noticed some white smoke at the southern end of the town. Within 15 to 20 minutes, the entire town was engulfed in flames.”
Videos taken by residents rushing out of town showed that many buildings were on fire. Only charred rubble remained on the main street of the town.
Watch | Officials trying to track evacuees:
The Lillooet community north of Lytton accommodated dozens of evacuees throughout the night. A regional representative said on Thursday that the official number is 188, but because many evacuees have not yet been officially registered, the number may be even higher.
Other evacuees sought refuge in the nearby Boston Bar community. At least 52 people went to the reception center in Merritt to the east.
Member Brad Vis representing Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon said in a Facebook post 90% of villages Lost. He said he received letters from voters on Wednesday that they had lost their homes and could not find their families.
I noticed some white smoke at the southern end of the town, and within 15 to 20 minutes, the entire town was engulfed by flames.-Jan Polderman, Mayor of Leiden, British Columbia
“I was told that the situation was bad and the authorities were trying to explain to everyone,” Weiss told the CBC on Wednesday night.
Vis and Polderman urged evacuees to register at the evacuation center to help the authorities conduct an inventory.
“So we can look for people who haven’t come out alive, if any,” Bodman said.
The Litton aborigines are also still trying to explain all their members.The provincial government said that evacuees should be registered online Evacuees registration and assistance website.
Farnworth said those looking for relatives should call the police nearest them for guidance.
Main Street in Lytton, before and after yesterday’s devastating fire.
(Photo from a member of the Chilliwack Fire Department)pic.twitter.com/OaoRvg1ch3
“Everyone in Leiden lost everything”
Facts have proved that finding shelter for the evacuees is also very difficult. The fire broke out on the eve of the first major long weekend in summer. British Columbians traveled again under the relaxed pandemic restrictions. They have already booked many rooms in the town.
“We are working hard to solve the capacity problem,” Hildebrand said.
Bonnie Nixon lives in Gladwin Trailer Park, a few kilometers north of Leiden. She grabbed the clothes and medicine, then jumped into the neighbor’s car to “get out”.
“[I was] Cry, cry, cry. Crying and fell asleep. Then you wake up this morning and we are here,” Nixon said, as she sat outside an evacuation center in Merritt, where she could stay for at least 7 days.
“Everyone in Lytton lost everything, including my sister. She had a house there. Nothing.”
On Wednesday, the weather in Lytton was hot, dry and windy. During the extreme heat wave earlier this week, the region experienced the highest temperature ever in Canada for three consecutive days, reaching 49.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
Erika Berg, a fire information officer at the Wildfire Bureau of British Columbia, said: “In terms of dryness and heat, this situation is unprecedented.”
She said that the ground and air crew were responding to the fire all night and will continue to work on Thursday.
Watch | Smoke and flames engulf Litton, British Columbia:
Officials suspect the train is on fire
Hildebrand said officials doubted how the fire started. “This has still not been confirmed, but it seems that the train caused the fire,” he told CBC News.
British Columbia Governor John Hogan said on Thursday that he heard the train theory “by accident” but warned that the investigation was ongoing.
The agency said on Thursday that CN Rail had not reported any issues related to the Litton train accident to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
Spokesperson Chris Krepski said: “TSB has not received any reports that the fire in Litton, British Columbia, was caused by a train.
Later on Wednesday night, Residents of 87 other properties north of Lytton He was also ordered to run away from home.
On Thursday, Farnworth said the fire was still burning “violently”, and according to data from the British Columbia Wildfire Service, the fire had expanded to 64 square kilometers.
Fire Information Officer Jean Strong told CBC that firefighters are currently focusing on the northwest side with some success.
Another spokesperson from the area said that hundreds of people from the aboriginal community may have also been ordered to evacuate, but it is difficult to get in touch with the local government.
When the latest fire hit Lidden, firefighters were already dealing with at least two other wildfires in the area.
The George Road wildfire burned south of the village, and it was finally estimated to be 350 hectares at 7:59 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday night. The nearby Conte Creek fire was estimated to be 1.5 hectares.