British Columbia’s wildfire service says a blaze burning around Lytton, B.C. is still classified as “out of control” hours after town residents were ordered to flee.
Taylor MacDonald, a fire information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service, says the fire is roughly 80 square kilometres in size.
Local Member of Parliament Brad Vis says 90 per cent of the village is destroyed but calls to fire crews to confirm the damage weren’t immediately returned.
John Haugen, a deputy chief with the Lytton First Nation, says there has been a lot of “devastation and loss.”
He says the nation, which has evacuated people to a recreational centre in Lillooet, B.C., is still trying to account for all of its members.
He says part of the issue is a lack of cell service in the community, as well as people being forced to leave with little time to prepare.
Edith Loring-Kuhanga, an administrator at the Stein Valley Nlakapamux School, says she and fellow staff members were forced to end a Zoom interview with a prospective teacher as the fire burned down their block.
The Lillooet First Nation established a muster station at the school, only to be told to leave for Lillooet once it was set up, she added.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2021.