Media release: Village of Lytton marks third anniversary of 2021 Lytton fire

June 25, 2024

Village of Lytton marks third anniversary of 2021 Lytton fire

Community makes significant progress with rebuilding; still faces many barriers

June 25, 2024

LYTTON, BC –  The Village of Lytton is marking the third anniversary of the June 30, 2021 fire, which resulted in two deaths and destroyed 90 per cent of the structures in the downtown core, including homes, services, businesses, and municipal buildings. The fire affected the Village, Lytton First Nation, and surrounding communities.

Rebuilding progress

Over the last year, the Village has made significant progress with rebuilding by:

  • Lifting the State of Local Emergency to allow residents to access their properties;
  • Completing substantial backfilling work on properties in the Village;
  • Issuing 13 residential and two commercial building permits with many more in progress;
  • Continuing work to recover and reestablish corporate records, bylaws, and policies;
  • Beginning planning to develop a community hub and rebuild municipal infrastructure;
  • Opening a temporary Village Office; and
  • Restoring municipal water and sewer infrastructure and removing do not consume and boil water advisories.

Community still faced with barriers to rebuilding

While the Village has made progress, the community still faces challenges with rebuilding. Construction costs have risen astronomically since the fire, many who lost their homes and businesses have had to request extensions to their insurance claims twice, and federal funding for Net Zero and fire-resilient rebuilding remains inaccessible to many property owners.

Additionally, while the people of Lytton recognize the importance of the Indigenous history and archaeological resources in and around the community, the costs for property owners to meet requirements under the Heritage Conservation Act are exorbitant and prohibitive.

Marking the third anniversary of the fire

Lytton’s Mayor and Council are hosting a community event on June 30, 2024 to recognize the fire departments, organizations, and individuals who came forward and offered support or donations to the community during and after the 2021 fire. After this, there will be a community gathering and barbeque.

Quotes

Mayor Denise O’Connor:

The anniversary of the fire is a solemn reminder of the two community members and many homes, businesses, municipal buildings, and livelihoods lost during the fire. It is also a time for us to recognize our tenacity and resilience and to look to the future as we rebuild.

This year we will be giving thanks to the fire departments, organizations, local governments, First Nations, and more than 70 individuals who offered their support and provided donations during and following the fire.

While we acknowledge our progress, Lytton continues to face significant challenges to rebuilding. We need the continued support and advocacy of regional, provincial, and federal governments and partners to help streamline processes and costs for rebuilding, particularly when it comes to archeology.

About the Village of Lytton

The Village of Lytton is located at the confluence of the Thompson and Fraser Rivers and the junction of Highway 12 and Trans-Canada Highway 1 in one of North America’s longest continuously inhabited areas within the unceded traditional ancestral territory of the Nlaka’pamux People.

Lytton is rebuilding after the 2021 fire that destroyed over 90 per cent of the Village. Before the fire, the Village of Lytton provided municipal services to a population of around 200. It was also the service centre for around 2,500 people living in the surrounding regional district and neighbouring Nlaka’pamux communities.