Lytton’s homes and buildings have been mostly destroyed and some local people are unaccounted for, officials say
In Lytton, British Columbia, Canada’s temperature record was broken on Tuesday when the mercury hit 49.6C (121F).
Less than 24 hours later, the small village was evacuated, with just minutes notice, as wildfires broke out.
Public officials now say that most of the town’s homes and buildings have been destroyed, as well as the ambulance station and the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment. Some local people are still unaccounted for.
There are several fires burning in the region which had been trapped under a “heat dome” for days which brought blistering temperatures.
The BC Wildfire Service said one blaze near Lytton was raging out of control over an area spanning roughly 30 square miles (80 square kilometers).
BC Premier John Horgan said on Thursday that there were 62 new fires and 29,000 lightning strikes in the past 24 hours in province and the fire risk remained extreme.
Mr Horgan said he had “anecdotal information” that a separate fire had been sparked by a train traveling through the village.
Before its peak on Tuesday Lytton, which is on the same latitude as London, had set records for high temperatures on three consecutive days. On Monday, the temperature was 47.9C (118.2F) and Sunday, 46.1C (115F).
The deadly “once-in-a-millennium” heatwave which has struck North America has broken temperature record after temperature record amid a mounting death toll, feared to be in the hundreds.
This article is being updated