Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Its been three months since a wildfire destroyed the village of Lytton. Residents want to rebuild but so far the village is surrounded by a tall fence and they are being kept out.
This exclusive drone video shows what's happening behind the fence.
Almost three months have passed since a wildfire tore through Lytton BC. There is very little left of the village. Now Lytton is surrounded by a construction fence draped with tarps. Residents have only been allowed in for a short time. No word when the fence will come down and rebuilding can begin.
The June 30th wildfire took the lives of two residents and left approximately 1100 people homeless.
Last week Lytton residents gathered via ZOOM. On the agenda is an environmental report commissioned by Emergency Management BC.
The 596 page highly technical report lays out results of soil and air samples gathered last July.
The company that compiled the report, GHD limited, was hired by Emergency Management BC, on behalf of Lytton and Lytton First Nations.
The area was divided into eight zones, commercial and residential. All the areas contain "potentially hazardous" materials.
Besides the obvious risk of the unstable remains of buildings, the report outlines what the naked eye can't see.
Real time air monitoring found no high levels of Carbon Dioxide or particulates in any of the 1058 samples but some of the soil samples found levels of toxins above acceptable levels.
According to the report, several of the 32 areas sampled showed high levels of chemicals such as Benzene, Toluene, Naphthalene, Aluminum, Arsenic, Lead, and a whole host of other toxic compounds.
28 of the 32 areas sampled showed acceptable or no hazardous levels of PCBs or petroleum byproducts.
The testing took place from July 12th to July 23rd
Not addressed in the report, is the contamination a result of the fire, out of date building materials, or being next to a rail line for a century.
The recommended remediation is to treat the entire area based on the worst samples collected.
The environmental report can be found on the Lytton First Nation website or by opening the file below.
Emergency Support Services providing lodging, meals and clothing have been extended to Oct 1.