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Forensic team, coroners outside Lytton ahead of probe into deadly wildfire

BC RCMP and BC Coroners Service have been unable to enter the village due to toxic smoke
Village of Lytton on fire on June 30, 2021. (Edith Loring Kuhanga/Facebook)

Forensic investigators are preparing to enter Lytton, just days after a wildfire ravaged the town. At least two are presumed dead and an unknown number of others still missing.

In a statement to Black Press Media, the BC Coroners Service said that as of 12:50 p.m., coroners had not yet entered the area but were expecting to be able to sometime today.

PHOTOS: B.C. wildfires as seen from space

BC RCMP and BC Coroners Service have been unable to enter the village since the fire sparked on June 30 due to toxic smoke and unsafe conditions. The fire is an estimated 6,500 hectares in size.

At a news conference Friday, officials would not reveal exactly how many people are unaccounted for.

“I don’t want to suggest I don’t have the numbers, I just don’t have the numbers with me today,” Pader Brach from Emergency Management BC said at the time.

READ MORE: 90% of Lytton destroyed in wildfire, injuries reported

The Canadian Red Cross has launched a family reunification phone line, and BC RCMP will treat information that comes in as missing persons investigations, said Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet.

Once it is safe to enter the area, Shoihet said a grid search will be conducted.

Officials are urging all evacuees who were able to flee to register with Emergency Services, even if they do not need shelter or other services.

The reunification line can be reached from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at 1-800-863-6582.


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About the Author: Ashley Wadhwani-Smith

I began my journalistic journey at Black Press Media as a community reporter in my hometown of Maple Ridge, B.C.
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