“All residents are encouraged to leave the community and go to a safe place,” Polderman said.
In an interview with CBC News, the mayor said the situation was dire for the community of 250 people. “The whole city is on fire,” he said. “It took about 15 minutes between the first sign of smoke and, all of a sudden, fire everywhere. “
A video posted on social media appears to show people driving out of town with flames nearby and thick smoke engulfing the road.
Erica Berg, a provincial fire information officer, said the evacuation order was issued about an hour after the blaze started, but she did not know the extent of it.
Signposted highways north and south of the village were closed as firefighters also dealt with two other forest fires in the area.
British Columbia Forest Fire Service called the fire an “evolving situation”.
Lytton’s temperature hovered around 102 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday. It was down from Tuesday, when the village recorded a new Canadian high of 121.2 F, breaking previous highs of 118.2 F it reached on Monday and 115 F on Sunday.
About 10 miles south of the First Nations community of Kanaka Bar, Jean McKay said she and her 22-year-old daughter, Deirdre McKay, began to panic as the smell of smoke grew stronger.
“I was still sitting there and wondering what to pack, emotionally stepping out of my door but thinking ‘I’m leaving it all behind.’ It’s hard. Very difficult. When my girlfriend told me her house was on fire, it really hit me, ”McKay said.
“My daughter called before we lost services and everything, she said, ‘Get out of here, get out of here.’ “
There was a memory her daughter couldn’t leave behind: “She grabbed my dad’s picture on the wall,” McKay said. “I said to him, ‘We are going out and this is the house that we have forever built and in which you have grown up.’ It’s hard. “
Climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted about the crisis Thursday morning.
The BC Wildfire Service also confirmed it was responding to several other fires in the province on Wednesday, including two fires north of Big White as well as the Sparks Lake wildfire.