VICTORIA – The fire-ravaged community of Lytton, B.C., is getting $21 million from the provincial government to help it rebuild essential infrastructure and services.
The Public Safety Ministry says in a statement the new funding will support priorities identified in Lytton’s recovery plan, including the hiring of staff and restoration of services, like fire protection, to allow construction to start.
The funds will also go to rebuilding municipal structures and assessing water and sewer infrastructure, and is in addition to almost $28 million in provincial funding announced earlier this year.
Two people were killed and much of the community was destroyed when wildfire ripped through Lytton almost a year ago.
The funding announcement comes after International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan visited the village site last week and announced $77 million in funding from the federal government to help Lytton rebuild a fire-resistant and energy-efficient community.
The B.C. government says the village site is expected to be ready for the next phases of rebuilding, including planning and permitting, this fall.
“We know there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, but this new funding is a significant step toward recovery,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary secretary for rural development.
Lytton Mayor Jan Polderman said in a statement that, without the funding for infrastructure, a rebuild would be “impossible.”
“The funding is welcomed for upping our game on public communication and engagement and developing an economic recovery plan,” he said. “Now that most, if not all, the actions identified in the short-term recovery plan are flushed out, the funding also allows for us to move forward with the development of our medium-to-long term recovery plan.”
Feature image: A motorist travels on Main Street as the burned-out remains of businesses and properties destroyed by last year’s devastating wildfire are seen in Lytton, B.C., on Saturday, May 21, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck