Canada Lytton: Wildfire forces hottest place in heatwave to evacuate

Thursday - 01/07/2021 10:11
Residents of a Canadian village which recorded the country's highest ever temperature, 49.6C (121.3F), have been forced to flee by a wildfire.
REUTERS / Wildfires were also spotted in Central Okanagan, British Columbia
REUTERS / Wildfires were also spotted in Central Okanagan, British Columbia

The mayor of Lytton, British Columbia, ordered people to evacuate, saying flames had spread through the village in just 15 minutes.

A heatwave has hit western Canada this week, with British Columbia recording three times its usual number of deaths.

Abnormally high temperatures have been recorded in swathes of North America.

British Columbia registered 486 deaths over five days compared with an average of 165 in normal times.

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe blamed the extreme weather. The western province had seen only three heat-related deaths over the past three to five years.

Many of those who died, Ms Lapointe said, had been living alone in unventilated homes.

Temperatures have been easing in coastal areas of Canada but there is not much respite for inland regions. The weather system is now moving eastwards over the Prairie provinces - Alberta and Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba have been placed under Environment Canada heat warnings.

Climate scientists are still trying to determine to what extent climate change may have aggravated the heatwave. One scientist, Zeke Hausfather, said the unprecedented weather was almost certainly a consequence of global warming.

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 Keywords: Canada

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