Cleanup has begun and rebuilding will follow in Lytton

A year after the heat wave that caused major wildfires in British Columbia, the cleanup has begun in Lytton.

According to Insurance Bureau of Canada (BAC), the fire that ravaged the municipality on June 30, 2022 was the second costliest in the province’s history, after the fires that occurred in 2003.

The fire that hit this locality cost more than 100 million dollars (M$) to insurers, according to the most recent data from the Catastrophe Indices and Quantification (CatIQ). In addition to Lytton, the fire that struck the White Rock Lake area caused insured damage estimated at $77 million.

In the communities of Killiney Beach and Monte Lake, debris removal and cleanup are largely complete, the Bureau reported in its June 28 statement. The reconstruction works of several properties are in progress.

In the case of Lytton, the cleanup was slower due to the presence of archaeological artifacts of Aboriginal origin. The provincial government is paying the extra cost to ensure that debris removal and cleanup does not destroy these artifacts.

The time to complete the work and begin the reconstruction varies greatly from one property to another, specifies the Office.

Lytton’s situation is “unique and special” when it comes to disaster recovery, according to Aaron SutherlandBAC Vice President for the Pacific and Prairie Region.

“Even though there wasn’t much hope of reconstruction for the residents and businesses of Lytton, we are starting to see that reconstruction is possible,” he said.

Now that the cleanup has begun in Lytton, insurers can start planning for reconstruction with the community. “There is hope that we can see Lytton once again become a thriving community soon,” adds Sutherland.

Lytton made headlines in 2021 when it recorded the highest temperature in the country’s history, 49.6 degrees Celsius, on June 29, at the worst of a weeks-long drought. The fire broke out the next day.

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