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Lytton wildfire: Preliminary reports of at least 2 deaths, coroner says

Click to play video: '1,300+ homes in B.C. face evacuation orders as 150+ wildfires rage' 1,300+ homes in B.C. face evacuation orders as 150+ wildfires rage
More than 150 fires are burning across British Columbia, triggering evacuation orders affecting more than 1,300 homes. Paul Haysom reports from near Lytton on what will hamper the efforts of firefighters. – Jul 2, 2021

The BC Coroners Service is investigating the reports of at least two deaths connected to the wildfire that swept through Lytton, BC.

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says members of her team are not yet able to get into the area due to ongoing concerns linked to the fire.

“It’s not safe to enter the area right now. And when they receive the approval to go to the site they will do that,” Lapointe said.

“They will conduct their investigation. And at that point, we’ll be able to confirm officially whether or not there are fatalities. And of course, you know, hopefully, we will not receive any other reports.”

Read more: B.C. wildfire map 2021: Location and size of the fires burning around the province

Click to play video: 'Lytton residents still unaccounted for following fast-moving wildfire' Lytton residents still unaccounted for following fast-moving wildfire
Lytton residents still unaccounted for following fast-moving wildfire – Jul 2, 2021

Read more: Here’s how you can help people affected by the catastrophic Lytton, B.C., fire

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There are 136 active fires in British Columbia across a wide area in the Southeast, Cariboo, and Prince George area.

Nine of those fires are considered fires of note from the BC Wildfire Service.

There have been 70 new fires in the past 24 hours and the expectation is there will be around another 70 fires in the next 24 hours. The main cause of the fires is lightning strikes.

Currently, 1,362 homes are under evacuation order across the province and approximately 950 are under evacuation alert.

Read more: ‘He chose to stay to fight the fire’: Lytton, B.C. resident says her dad saved homes

The RCMP has also not been able to enter the Lytton area due to ongoing fire hazards. Once it is safe to enter, the RCMP will lead a grid search.

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There are concerns people are entering the area to search for loved ones and they are being asked to respect the ongoing roadblocks.

“The area of Lytton is still subject to an evacuation order and we have yet to be able to get into that area,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said.

“We are certainly aware that there are people that are missing their loved ones and are trying to reconnect with their loved ones and we do echo the importance of registering with the evacuation centre.”

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