B.C. invests $21 million into Lytton rebuild
B.C. invests $21 million into Lytton rebuild

B.C. invests $21 million into Lytton rebuild

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The B.C. government is injecting $21 million of funding to help restore infrastructure and services in Lytton, which was effectively destroyed in a 2021 wildfire.

“The new funding builds on past investments to support the Village of Lytton after a devastating wildfire destroyed most of the village during summer 2021. Past funding included $9.3 million to support ongoing Village operations and early recovery, and $18.4 million to assist in debris removal, archeological work and soil remediation for all properties in the village,” says a provincial statement.

“Over the past year, Lytton residents have shown tremendous strength as the community has come together to recover from what was lost,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “With new funding to help get essential services and infrastructure back up and running, the Village of Lytton is taking another step forward on this challenging journey of rebuilding. The Province has supported that journey, and we’re going to keep working together to rebuild Lytton.”

The provincial statement says these will be their priorities:

  • Restoration of crucial services, such as fire protection, to enable residents to safely return to the community and start their own rebuilding efforts
  • Reconstruction of key municipal infrastructure, including the Village office, and the assessment for repair of water and sewer infrastructure
  • Ensuring adequate staffing is in place for recovery-related municipal operations, including improving consistent communication with residents

“We know there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, but this new funding is a significant step toward recovery,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development.

Adding, “we’re going to keep moving forward together as we ensure that the community has the resources it needs to rebuild.”

Related links:

  • Feds announce $77M for Lytton rebuild with focus on ‘resilient, net-zero design’

  • Rebuild of Lytton, B.C., after devastating wildfire to begin by September: minister

A fast-moving fire swept across the Village of Lytton on June 30 in 2021, amid a record heatwave in the province. Just days prior, Lytton recorded the hottest-ever temperature in Canada three times, the highest being 49.6 C. Two people died in the fire.

Lytton resident Denise O’Connor, whose home was incinerated in the fire, told CityNews there is lingering frustration and anxiety over what many consider the province’s slow response to rebuilding the community.

Many questions have been raised in the months since the community was destroyed. However, a report on the wildfire concluded last month that the disaster couldn’t have been stopped, even with an area-wide emergency response.

According to the report, scientists found the root cause was “easily ignitable structures and homes, and not just a wildfire problem.”

It says even the best possible fire response would have been “overwhelmed” because at least 20 buildings were fully engulfed within 80 minutes and would have required at least 60 fire trucks to contain.

With files from Hana Mae Nassar and The Canadian Press

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