Canada heatwave: Wildfire forces evacuation of ‘hottest ever’ Lytton as mayor warns whole town is in flames

A wildfire amid an unprecedented heatwave in Canada has forced the evacuation of a village that smashed the country’s temperature record three days in a row this week.

The evacuation order for Lytton, in British Columbia, was ordered on Wednesday as its mayor warned: “The whole town is on fire.”

As the fire raged, Jan Polderman said it would be a “miracle if everyone made it out alive”.

In an interview with CBC News, Mr Polderman said the situation was dire for the community of 250 people.

“It took, like, a whole 15 minutes from the first sign of smoke to, all of a sudden, there being fire everywhere.”

Highways north and south of the village were closed as firefighters dealt with two other wildfires in the area.

Earlier, Mr Polderman tweeted that the fire was threatening structures and the safety of residents of the community, which is 95 miles northeast of Vancouver.

“All residents are advised to leave the community and go to a safe location,” Mr Polderman said.

Lytton’s temperature hovered around 39C (102F) on Wednesday - down from Tuesday when the village recorded a new Canadian high of 49.6C (121.2 F) That broke breaking the previous highs of 47.9C on Monday and 46.1C on Sunday.

Dramatic video was posted on social media of residents fleeing the wildfire as flames licked the side of a freeway.

Hundreds of deaths have likely been caused by the heatwave moving across Canada and the US Northwest, authorities say.

The chief coroner of British Columbia said her office received reports of at least 486 “sudden and unexpected deaths” between Friday and Wednesday afternoon.

Lisa Lapointe said about 165 people normally would die in the province over a five-day period, adding that many of the most recent deaths could be heat related.

Health officials said more than 60 deaths in Oregon in the US have been linked to the heat, and at least 20 in Washington state.

The heatwave was caused by what meteorologists described as a dome of high pressure over the Northwest and worsened by human-caused climate change, which is making such extreme weather events more likely and more extreme.

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