Summary of the Material Sampling and Air Monitoring, Lytton Wildfire Response Report

September 20, 2021

Much of the Village of Lytton is still under an Evacuation Order due to a number of hazards at burn sites. The Village of Lytton has received the final GHD Report concerning the bulk particulate sampling and air monitoring. This report provides information concerning the particles and toxins that are present within the disaster area, including Village of Lytton, IR17, IR18 and IR22.

The site was broken up into eight zones and four composite samples were taken from the ash and debris from each zone, for a total number of 32 samples taken. The samples were collected from different property types, including commercial, industrial, institutional and residential.

The samples were analyzed for parameter exceedances for each hazard, based on the following guidelines:

  • BC Contaminated Sites Regulation (CSR), soil standards for industrial land use
  • Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Soil Quality Guidelines
  • (SQG) for the Protection of Environmental and Human Health for industrial land use
  • Criteria for hazardous waste, as listed in the BC Hazardous Waste Regulation (HWR)
  • BC Approved Water Quality Guidelines (BC WQG)

The results of this analysis are of concern. Asbestos has been detected at four sites across the area. The results have also identified elevated levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), Furans, Dioxins and an array of heavy metals including arsenic, antimony and barium. It is important to note that these toxins can become mobile as the ash is picked up by the heavy winds in the Lytton area and redistributed across the sites.

At this time, potential health issues arising from exposure to the parameters exceeded are only of concern to workers or those removing or handling the ash and debris resulting from the fire. These are not of concern to the general public.

The entire GHD Report can be read here: