It has been two years to the day since a wildfire swept through Lytton, in a matter of minutes devestating almost everything in its path.
The village’s state of emergency and evacuation orders, which left many unable to access their properties, were only recently lifted. Community members voted to stop renewing the State of Local Emergency declaration, allowing it to expire on June 19. Since then, residents could return.
The cause of the fire, which left two people dead, remains unknown.
In a statement, B.C. RCMP Staff Sgt. Kris Clark said that the investigation into cause remains ongoing, but indicated no timeline to completion.
“We will continue to take the time needed to ensure that all avenues of investigation have been covered off,” he said, noting there are other regulatory probes and other investigations into determining cause underway.
In a seperate statement, Premier David Eby and Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma, said while the process has been long and challenging, the community has been resillient.
“The devastation caused by the Lytton wildfire profoundly affected the Nlaka’pamux Nation, the village of Lytton and the greater Thompson-Nicola Regional District,” the statement reads.”We share the sadness of everyone who has been affected by this tragic event.”
The village is now transitioning from recovery to rebuilding, the province said. This includes hydro, water and sewage water infrastructure is being repaired and the boil-water advisory has been lifted.
“The village has established an office within the community and local events are resuming,” Eby and Ma said.
“We know that people are eager to return to their community and there is much to be hopeful about.”
More to come.