Lytton, a small town in British Columbia, Canada, which this week recorded the highest temperature in history in Canada, had to be evacuated due to the wildfires that affect it.
According to the Canadian public television CBC, on Wednesday night, Lytton – about 260 km northeast of Vancouver– was engulfed by flames, for which its residents were forced to flee, many without their belongings.
The mayor of Lytton, Jan Polderman, was the one who gave the evacuation order for the 250 inhabitants of the town, in which thermometers reached 49.5ºC on Tuesday, the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada.
“It’s awful. The whole city is on fire.” Polderman told CBC News. “It took like 15 minutes from the first smoke signal until all of a sudden there was fire everywhere.”
A video shows residents running out of town and numerous burning structures.
This news comes as western Canada and the northwestern US face a historic heat wave that has set temperature records in many places.
In addition, British Columbia had 486 sudden deaths in the past five days, three times the usual figure. Many of these deaths are attributed to heat.
And in the western United States there are at least 80 dead, according to the Globe Live Media agency.
“Dome of heat”
The cause of this wave corresponds to a “heat dome” of high pressure static hot air (which acts like the lid of a pot) that extends from California to the Arctic territories.
Temperatures are lower in coastal areas, but inland regions have little respite.
Before Sunday, temperatures in Canada had never exceeded 45 ° C. Experts say that climate change is expected to increase the frequency of these extreme events. However, it is complex to link what is happening in Canada today with global warming.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.