Canadian town destroyed by wildfire

The devastating wildfire has left Lytton town into a smouldering ruin, with most homes and buildings in the small village burnt to the ground.

According to local media, more than 1,000 people in and around the town had just minutes to flee after the village issued an evacuation order last Wednesday (June 30) evening as wildfires broke out, causing two reported deaths and multiple injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Lightning strikes in Western Canada over the past week soared nearly tenfold from the same time a year ago, triggered in part by a record-breaking heatwave, meteorologists said, warning of more strikes that could further stoke forest fires fanned by high winds.

The Pacific province of British Columbia has been recovering from the grip of an unprecedented heatwave, which has so far caused at least 719 confirmed deaths, triple what would normally occur in the same time period, the province's chief coroner said last Friday (July 2).

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