With average temperatures in British Columbia touching record highs up to 49.6 degrees Celsius, a village 153 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, Canada has been devastated by fire. The Canada wildfire has engulfed the whole village.
Western Canada is reeling under a record-breaking heatwave and has stoked wildfires that have forced authorities to order an evacuation. Hundreds of deaths have been attributed to the heatwave. The fire has threatened the residents of Lytton near Vancouver.
Local authorities have shared footage of the Canada wildfire as it raged over hilltops that overlook Lytton. Residents were seen rushing to safety as the fire gradually engulfed the towns. Evacuation orders are in place for the 250 residents.
Mayor Jan Polserman said that all residents have been advised to evacuate and move to safer locations, saying he was lucky to escape. He said that their fires had engulfed the town. With just one fire truck, it never really had a chance.
Temperatures were a record 49.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, much higher than the previous high of 47.9 degrees Celsius on Monday and 47.1 on Tuesday.
Things took a turn for the worse suddenly. Residents had as little as 15 minutes to evacuate and escape for their lives. It was the time it took from the first signs of smoke to a raging inferno.
Centers are being set up in surrounding towns for fire evacuees. This happens to be only one among the more than 3 dozen fires burning across the province. 26 of the Canada wildfires have started in the last 26 days in the head dome. In a related fallout of the heatwave, melting snow has led to overflowing rivers
Canada Wildfire Stokes Climate Change Debate
There has been renewed interest in climate change with the Canada wildfires becoming commonplace over the past few days. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that extreme weather conditions have become more frequent lately and the present heatwaves would become more frequent now.
A high-pressure area, named a heat dome, has been blamed for the Canada wildfires. Such heat domes are formed when strong, high–pressure conditions combine with the La Nina influence to create record high temperatures. The total death toll in the past week in British Columbia due to the heatwave has risen to 486, a three-fold increase over normal times.