A wildfire that broke out near Lytton, BC, on Wednesday destroyed 90 percent of the village, according to CBC News. On Friday, British Columbia’s chief coroner said that preliminary reports indicated two people have died as a result of the fire.
For three days in a row prior to the fire, the town broke records for highest temperature ever recorded in Canada, hitting 49.6 C (121.2 F) on Tuesday.
Only a few houses remain standing in Lytton, according to the mayor. Residents of Lytton had just minutes to leave their homes and escape the fire on Wednesday, The Associated Press reports. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered Lytton federal assistance.
The challenge will be trying to confirm where residents went and connect them with their families, officials said.
“We are receiving calls from people looking for family and loved ones as well, and it’s really hard because of power outages and cellphone towers being down, but we’re working on that,” Scott Hildebrand, chief administrative officer with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, told CBC News early Thursday.
There is a lot of work being done in the village of Lytton, B.C., as fire crews continue to battle the out of control fire that swept through town this week.
The village’s mayor says the ambulance station, police detachment, homes and grocery store will all need to be rebuilt.
“From what I can see in town there’s only a few houses left so it’ll be a total rebuild,” Mayor Jan Polderman said.
The roughly 1,000 residents of Lytton had to abandon their homes with just a few minutes notice Wednesday evening, after searing the previous day under a record high of 121.2 F (49.6 C).