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Canadian town burns days after setting record temperature

Harry Wilmerding, DCNF

A massive wildfire tore through Lytton, British Columbia, after the town experienced three straight days of record setting temperatures, British Columbia Premier John Horgan said in a press conference on Friday.

Lytton’s temperature hit 121.2 degrees on Tuesday, breaking the previous highs of 118.2 degrees recorded on Monday and 115 degrees on Sunday, according to CBS News.

“All of us have been shocked to see the images of people fleeing the wildfires rising in Lytton, the Fraser Canyon and beyond. We’re ensuring were doing everything we can to evacuate safely and fight fire at the same time,” Horgan said in the press conference.

“To have a heat wave and then a horrific fire is so troubling and so challenging for the people in the community,” Horgan added.

Lytton Mayor Jan Polderman issued an evacuation order Wednesday night, CBC reported. “It’s dire. the whole town is on fire,” Polderman told CBC on Wednesday.

“It took, like, a whole 15 minutes from the first sign of smoke to, all of a sudden, there being fire everywhere,” Polderman said.

Over 1,000 people have evacuated the Lytton area, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Horgan said.

62 new fires have been reported in British Columbia in the last day as authorities have issued new evacuation orders affecting over 700 people in B.C.’s Cariboo region, Horgan said.

“The town has sustained structural damage, and 90% of the village is burned, including the centre of town.,” Brad Vis, a member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, said in a Facebook post.

The fires caused significant damage to British Columbia hydro stations and highways, Vis added.

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