Lytton BC – at the junction of the Fraser (top) and Thompson (right/below) Rivers Image: Tony Bates

If you still don’t believe in global warming, just look at what happened to Lytton, a small town about four hours drive north of Vancouver.

Lytton is one of my favourite small towns in the BC interior. It is a pretty town sitting on an escarpment at the junction of two mighty rivers, the Fraser, coming from the north, and the Thompson, coming from the east. The actual village has just over 250 inhabitants, but there are about 1.,700 people living in the adjacent rural areas.

Lytton has always claimed to be one of the hottest spots in Canada, although its average summer temperature is no more than 21 degrees celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit.) However, its hottest recorded temperature was 42 degrees celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit) back in 1971.

Then came the three day ‘heat dome’ that hit southern British Columbia. On Sunday Lytton recorded a temperature of 45 degrees celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), the hottest ever recorded in Canada. The three hottest days ever in its history completely dried out the town, and it took only a spark (rumoured to be from a passing train) to result in the whole town burning to the ground on the following Wednesday. Everyone scattered in three directions: north, east and south. At the time of writing it appears that everyone escaped safely although pets and livestock will have been lost.

I hope everyone is safe, and that the town will be restored to its former glory, but it will need to be almost completely rebuilt.

This unfortunately will not be an isolated event. Temperatures are getting hotter, the forests are drying out. Global warming is real and it gets closer to affecting us all every day.

Image: Tony Bates


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