LYTTON, B.C. – A wildfire blazing just west of Lytton, B.C., has now scorched five square kilometres of trees and bush, more than doubling in size in less than 12 hours.
BC Wildfire Service spokeswoman Taylor Colman says the out-of-control fire is burning vigorously and is being fuelled by gusty winds just under two kilometres northwest of Lytton.
Several evacuation orders and alerts have been issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the Lytton First Nation for properties on the west side of the Fraser River, across the water from Lytton.
The regional district is still working to confirm reports that three buildings were lost in the hours after the flames broke out.
Colman says the fire was sparked just after noon Thursday and reaching it is a challenge because there are few roads in the area and the tiny ferry that crosses the Fraser River at Lytton is out of service due to high water levels.
She says three 20-person crews have now been assigned to the fire and will be supported by helicopters through the day as the fire continues to work its way north, away from Lytton.
Tricia Thorpe lives in the area and says the fire is renewing memories of last year’s devastating wildfire that destroyed Lytton.
“It’s devastating. I feel for the local fire crew,” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
“They are a great, caring group of men and women and for them to have to experience this at home, again, has got to be gut wrenching.”
Thorpe said her heart goes out to those she calls the “westside people,” meaning those living on the west side of the Fraser River, across from Lytton.
“They are the ones who welcomed us into their community last year when we lost everything in the Lytton wildfire,” she said.
Evacuees have been told to travel north to Lillooet, where a reception centre has been prepared.
– With files from Hina Alam
Feature image: BC Wildfire Service says a wildfire is spreading just west of the Village of Lytton, B.C. as shown in this Thursday July 14, 2022 handout image. It says multiple BC Wildfire Service crews are responding, and helicopters and airtankers have been dispatched. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Daisy Meissner
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