Leighton, a small village in the Canadian province of British Columbia, broke temperature records in Canada for the past three days in a row, and 49.6 degrees Celsius were measured on Tuesday.
On Wednesday evening, the chief of that small mountain village of 250 people had to issue an evacuation order due to an impending explosive fire.
“Our small town of Leighton is gone”
The fire soon caught up with Swallow Leighton. Local Canadian lawmaker Brad Weiss said as much as 90 percent of the village was engulfed in fire, the BBC reported. The mayor, Jan Polderman, said he was lucky to have survived.
“Within 15 minutes, the whole city caught fire. There will be nothing left of Leighton. “Fire was everywhere,” he added.
“Our miserable little place Leighton is gone! This is so overwhelming – we are all in shock! “Members of our community have lost everything,” a resident named Edith Loring Quanga wrote on Facebook.
Lytton's Main Street, before and after yesterday's devastating fire.— Justin McElroy (@j_mcelroy) July 1, 2021
(Photo from a Chilliwack Fire Department member) pic.twitter.com/OaoRvg1ch3
City Councilwoman Lillian Gray said most residents had fled the blaze “just for what they wore” and that the damage caused by the blaze was catastrophic, the Washington Post reported.
“I was crying. My daughter was crying. I do not even know why I grabbed my key. Maybe we don’t have a home anymore. “Yes, I know, I said, ‘As long as we’re together, we’re going to survive.’
Two elderly people were killed in the fire, some are being searched
Unfortunately, not all residents of Leighton were spared. Jeff Chapman confirmed to the National Post that his parents were killed in the blaze.
Absolutely mind-blowing wildfire behavior in British Columbia.— Dakota Smith (@weatherdak) July 1, 2021
Incredible & massive storm-producing pyrocumulonimbus plumes. pic.twitter.com/kH39IuX1ez
They hid in a hole in the ground next to the house when it started burning. Their son somehow managed to escape from the house. He says that everything happened incredibly fast – they were preparing a barbecue in the yard, when they saw smoke circling around the village, and only a few moments later a fire.
We are looking for residents of Leighton who in the meantime have not registered at the reception centers. Unfortunately, the death toll may be higher.
Leighton has the name “Canada hotspot”, but the temperature has never been so high
Leighton is located at 50 degrees north latitude – almost the same as London. But global warming is likely to be related to the record heatwave that has hit western Canada and northwestern Canada in recent days, and to a lesser extent the eastern United States, British Columbia, which is otherwise prone to summer heat, typical of that latitude due to its specific latitude. geographical-climatic conditions.
For the 3rd day in a row Canada 🇨🇦 has seen a record breaking temperature of almost 5️⃣0️⃣°C in Lytton, BC.— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) June 30, 2021
The record before this #heatwave has been broken by an incredible 4.6 degrees (most records are broken by fractions of degrees) 🌡https://t.co/QNiiCjZSKJ pic.twitter.com/XhUNTItVcu
Leighton, a village in the mountainous Fraser River Valley, also bears the nickname “Canada Hotspot” due to the high temperatures that reach daylight saving time, but never like this summer. The last record was 44.4 degrees, the old one in 1941.
Global warming, in particular, is particularly pronounced in mountainous areas, where temperatures are rising faster than elsewhere. When snow and ice recede or disappear from the mountains, the bare ground below can heat up smoothly. A 2015 study found that mountainous areas above 2,000 meters above sea level heat up 75% faster than lowlands.
Hundreds of deaths with extreme heat
The warmer mountains, with huge droughts now plaguing northern America, with the most widespread extreme droughts ever recorded, contributed to a high-pressure “heat dome” as it spread over western Canada this month.
Dry, descending air quickly descends the mountain slopes to the ocean and creates a kind of express-pot pressure, leading to record temperatures. And that effect is more pronounced in the mountain valleys, such as the one in Leighton.
Hundreds of sudden deaths have been reported in British Columbia, as well as in the US states of Oregon and Washington, have been linked to these extreme heat waves, local officials said this week.
Lisa Lapoint, chief medical officer of British Columbia, said there were 486 sudden deaths between Friday and Wednesday and she believed they were the result of extreme heat. Reported CNBC.