Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says several people remain missing due to the growing Lytton wildfire, and is urging all evacuees to register with Emergency Services so officials know they are safe.
RCMP are actively looking for those who have not yet registered, Farnworth said during a joint news conference Thursday. He could not confirm how many were missing at this time. Those who have not heard from their loved ones are being asked to contact local police and Emergency Management Services.
The Canadian Red Cross is also setting up a phone line to disseminate information to evacuees.
The fire, yet to be officially named, ripped through the village yesterday destroying 90 per cent of the town, including a majority of the homes. An evacuation order was put in place, impacting roughly 1,000 residents in the area.
Premier John Horgan said the wildfire sparked amid some of the highest temperatures to ever be seen in the province, leading to 29,000 lightning strikes across B.C. in the past 24 hours.
In Lytton, the cause of the fire remains unknown and an investigation is underway.
The update comes as the wildfire continues to grow due to dry and windy conditions in the area.
BC Wildfire Service crews estimate the fire to be 9,000 hectares in size, calling the situation fluid.
Ground crews are working to protect what is left, officials said, with support of aircrafts attacking the fire from above.
Horgan said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning, who offered resource support – such as military – as well as commitments to rebuild the village.
Composite created by Marty Anderson of Main Street in #Lytton (looking south).#BCwildfire news conference with @jjhorgan, @mikefarnworthbc, @EmergencyInfoBC and @BCGovFireInfo today at 1 p.m. PST. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/LqQ1WIEMLO— Ashley Wadhwani (WAHD-WAH-NEE) (@ashwadhwani) July 1, 2021