LYTTON, B.C. — The British Columbia government says it is immediately providing a grant of $1 million to support the Village of Lytton as it recovers from a destructive wildfire last summer. 

The fast-moving fire razed much of the Fraser Canyon community on June 30, just one day after the temperature there hit an all-time Canadian high of 49.6 Celsius.

The province says half of the grant money will support efforts to restart the local economy, while the rest will go toward village operations, including paying staff.

Mayor Jan Polderman says in a statement that the village was devastated, but their spirits remain strong and the grant will help with immediate, critical needs. 

Jennifer Rice, parliamentary secretary of emergency preparedness, says business owners and the local government are facing an “enormous challenge” in rebuilding. 

Rice and Roly Russell, parliamentary secretary of rural development, have been appointed as recovery liaisons between the province and the village. 

The province says the funds will support four key areas: emergency and temporary housing; the local government recovery team; safe return and re-entry, including removing debris and assessing environmental hazards; as well as other financial and in-kind support, such as the management of donations made to the community.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021. 

The Canadian Press