Record heat and fire of about 50 degrees – an entire village burned down in Canada
Canada was in the grip of an unprecedented heat wave, with record temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius. Lytton Parish is particularly hard hit.
Residents had only minutes to leave their homes. “Within a quarter of an hour there were flames everywhere,” said Jan Polderman, the mayor of the Canadian community of Lytton. A few minutes later he ordered to evacuate. «The situation is terrible. The whole village is on fire,” he said on Canadian television.
Soon after, the police officers reached door to door and warned the villagers about the fire in the forest. Very few people have time to pack essentials. “We just wanted to get out, just run away,” said a resident. Heavy smoke spread over the village, roof trusses and cars caught fire. The nearby Trans-Canada Highway was cordoned off.
Lytton is in the Fraser River Valley, about a four-hour drive from Vancouver. Litton has been in the news for days, as the 300-odd village is the epicenter of the five-day summer heat that engulfed western Canada. There it was 49.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada – four degrees above the previous highest temperature measured in Canada since 1937. Then on Wednesday evening the fire broke out.
Up to 49.6 degrees: Canada records heat wave under control
Witnesses spoke of “catastrophic destruction”. It is still unclear whether all residents were able to leave the village on time. “It would be a miracle if everyone made it,” Meyer said. One resident reported on the radio that about 100 residents had fled in a long car convoy to a small town nearby. “It’s amazing. Our village is no more.” Emergency services tried to douse the fire with the help of helicopters. However, the village could have been completely destroyed.
The situation can worsen due to storm
The record heat, which recently moved from the coastal metropolis of Vancouver into the interior of the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, has contributed to several hundred deaths so far, according to government estimates.
Climate researcher Simon Donner of the University of British Columbia, broadcaster CBC, said the heat wave shook him. “As scientists, we expect more extreme weather events as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to rise,” Donner said. “The fact that the current wave is so intense is unprecedented in Canada.”
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