The summer of 2021 saw unimaginable temperatures of more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit in British Columbia roasting what is normally a temperate paradise. The day after the village of Lytton experienced the hottest day on record in Canada, a wildfire engulfed several hundred of the town’s residents, burning most to the ground.
Now, those who remain are moving again as another summer wildfire destroys homes on the outskirts of Lytton.
The last 13 months in this rural part of Canada seem almost melodramatic to say the least. A climatologist told me two decades ago that the term “global warming” is a misnomer, and that “global warming” would be a better descriptive phrase as the climate changes in the coming years.
The last 13 months at Lytton were not only stranger than fiction, but more tragic than the darkest imagination had conjured.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Nohomin Creek fire had grown to 17 square kilometers (more than 4,000 acres) since it started Thursday, destroying ten homes and other structures and forcing more than 100 people to evacuate the area.
Most of the evacuees are members of the Lytton First Nation; The fire started about a mile outside the village of Lytton, where debris from the 2021 fire still sits in neighborhoods where others have begun rebuilding.
“It’s devastating,” Acting Lytton First Nation Chief John Haugen told the CBC.
The cause of the fire is yet to be announced. Temperatures in the area were nowhere near last year’s record, but highs could reach the 90s this week.
Shortly after starting Thursday, the fire jumped west of the Fraser River, burning through an area spared from last summer’s wildfires.
“The west side has been a place of sanctuary for the past year … you can go out there and see some green that’s not all black and brown,” Lytton First Nation member Britannia Glasgow told CBC. Radio West.
Firefighters said favorable conditions Saturday night helped slow the fire’s spread, but it was still considered out of control.