Heat wave, Canada | Canadian town evacuated after heat wave sparks fire

Mayor Jan Polderman spoke Wednesday night about the evacuation, reports Canadian national television channel CBC.

– It’s horrible. The whole city is on fire. It took about 15 minutes from the first sign of smoke until there was a sudden fire everywhere, he said.

Over the past three days, record heat has been recorded in Lytton. On Tuesday, it was measured at 49.5 degrees, the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada.

The city is located 26 miles northeast of Vancouver in western Canada. Many residents had to flee hastily while leaving their belongings behind.

It’s so hot that many people don’t know exactly what to do:

Costs hundreds of lives

Authorities estimate that the heat wave that hit Canada and the US states of Oregon and Washington has claimed hundreds of lives.

With temperatures of up to 50 degrees, double what is otherwise normal, many unexpected heatwave-related deaths have been reported in recent days.

Also read: Almost 50 degrees – more than 100 sudden deaths

Chief pathologist Lisa Lapointe of the Canadian province of British Columbia said Wednesday that 486 sudden and unexpected deaths had been reported from Friday to Wednesday. Normally, about 165 people will die in five days in the province.

“While it is too early to say for sure how many of these deaths are heat-related, it is believed that the significant increase in reported deaths can be attributed to extreme weather conditions,” Lapointe said in a statement.

Poorly equipped

Many homes in the northern regions of the United States and Canada do not have air conditioning and are therefore ill-equipped against the unexpected heat wave.

In Oregon, 60 heat-related deaths have been reported, and in Washington, a dozen deaths have been reported so far, a number that is expected to rise.

Of the dead, who range in age from 44 to 97, it is believed that hyperthermia, meaning the body becomes too hot, was the cause in at least 45 of the cases. In Oregon, previously, from 2017 to 2019, only 12 cases of hyperthermia had been recorded.

“The temperatures measured this week are unexpected – lives have been lost and the risk of wildfires is at a dangerously high level,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

(© NTB)

Alec Dittman

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