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Devastating Lytton wildfire considered ‘suspected human-caused’ but investigation ongoing

Regional district planning bus tour to allow displaced residents to see what remains
Structures destroyed by wildfire are seen in Lytton, B.C., on Thursday, July 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A wildfire that destroyed much of Lytton is being considered “suspected” human-caused, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

On Tuesday (July 6) morning, fire information officer Forrest Tower said that the fire is not considered lightning-caused, but that there is not yet a full determination of what caused the blaze.

“Just given the nature of this fire, and the weather that was in the area, it’s suspected human caused, but we still have to do a full investigation,” Tower said.

While rumours have floated around online about whether or not a CN train had anything to do with the wildfire, Tower said that it was too early to speculate and that given the complexity of the fire, it would likely be sometime yet before an exact cause was determined.

Both BC Wildfire and the RCMP are conducting investigations into the devastating wildfire, which destroyed much of the village in B.C.’s Interior and killed two people.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is planning on hosting a bus tour in Lytton to allow displaced residents to get a look at what remains after the fire, although when that occurs is yet to be determined as the blaze is still classified as out of control.

There are 47 firefighters, eight helicopters and seven pieces of heavy equipment engaged with the fire. There are 40 BC Wildfire Service firefighters and 40 firefighters and two task leaders from New Brunswick en route to Lytton as of Tuesday.

The wildfire is now estimated to be 7,723 hectares in size due to more accurate GPS mapping of its perimeter.

READ MORE: Lytton fire shows ‘minimal’ growth in past day: BC Wildfire Service

READ MORE: A history of Lytton, from First Nations to the Gold Rush to disastrous fires


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