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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2022PSSG0009-000302
March 7, 2022
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Emergency Management BC
Province adds supports for Lytton’s recovery

VICTORIA – The Province is commiting a further $18.4 million for the recovery of Lytton.

This funding will cover the substantial costs of debris removal, archeological work and soil remediation for municipal and all uninsured and underinsured properties in the village.

“By supporting debris removal, we are literally clearing the way for the rebuilding of Lytton to begin in a tangible way,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We are doing everything possible to speed up the progress and support the community through the very challenging and ongoing task of rebuilding Lytton. This recovery is a partnership, and the Province continues to have the backs of the people of Lytton.”

To help the village and residents of Lytton get to the rebuilding stage, the Province will pay for the removal of debris including ash, soot, metals, bricks, and other building materials from more than 200 properties. The debris removal will start with municipal properties on Tuesday, March 8, and expand to residential properties when that work is completed.

“Our government is continuing to take steps to support the village and residents of Lytton in rebuilding,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This $18 million in new funding will pave the way for people to return to their homes by funding critical debris removal, archeological, and site remediation work.”

Following the debris removal, the Province will co-ordinate and fund archeological work that would otherwise be covered by the residents. This is an area of cultural importance, and this work aims to identify and preserve any findings in the area, and further reconciliation and collaborative resource management between the Nlaka’pamux Nation and the Province.

This new funding will also address costs of remediation work to transform the ground into new livable space. Soil remediation will remove any contaminants from the ground and restore the landscape into a safe site where the village and residents can rebuild.

To keep work moving forward, the Province is funding temporary accommodations for as many as 30 staff, consultants and construction workers, who are doing this work. In addition, this funding will support project management, engineering design work and security.

This new funding complements the $9.3 million the Province has recently provided to support Lytton’s ongoing operations and recovery.

The village site will be ready for the next phase of rebuilding, such as permitting, this fall.

Two backgrounders follow.

 
Contact:
 
Emergency Management BC
Media Relations
250 880-6430
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 1
For Immediate Release
2022PSSG0009-000302
March 7, 2022
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Emergency Management BC
Facts about Lytton's recovery
  • The Canadian Red Cross is providing an immediate housing support to those who lost their primary residence.
    • The Canadian Red Cross is supporting about 170 households from the Lytton area through case management.
  • In February 2022, the Province provided more than $8.3 million in funding to support ongoing village operations and recovery.
  • In December 2021, the Province provided a $1-milllion grant for operational activities so that the Village of Lytton could continue to pay staff leading the wildfire recovery in the community.
  • From June 30 to Dec. 15, 2021, the Province provided more than $6 million in emergency supports to households affected by the Lytton wildfire.
    • After Dec. 15, Emergency Support Services for evacuees was transitioned to the Canadian Red Cross, which has received funding from the Province.
  • According to British Columbia Assessment, and based on information from Emergency Management BC, 187 of 193 (97%) residential and business properties in the village experienced damage that resulted in a partial write-down of their property assessment for 2022.
  • Of 187 damaged residential and business properties, 124 (66%) were materially damaged or destroyed.
  • The B.C. government is supporting Lytton’s recovery by funding four key areas:
    •  emergency housing;
    • a local government recovery team;
    • resident’s safe return and re-entry; and
    • other financial and in-kind supports, including donation management co-ordination and case management.
 
Contact:
 
Emergency Management BC
Media Relations
250 880-6430
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 2
For Immediate Release
2022PSSG0009-000302
March 7, 2022
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Emergency Management BC
Next steps in Lytton’s rebuilding, recovery

Debris removal:

  • The Province is working with insurance providers, non-government organizations and the village to co-ordinate the community cleanup and debris removal.
  • For residents with adequate property insurance, debris removal costs are funded by their insurance company, which will hire a contractor to provide the services.
  • For those without insurance or who do not have sufficient insurance, debris removal will be managed by Lytton’s contractor to support this effort in a consistent manner.
  • An engineered work plan will be developed for the entire town to support this debris removal and remediation work.
  • Debris includes ash, soot, metals, bricks, concrete, wood and other building materials. The wildfire damage also destroyed many structural foundations. Removing the foundations will require digging several feet deep to remove the damaged foundation.  
  • The testing of ash samples have determined the presence of asbestos, requiring precautions to ensure safety during cleanup, transportation and disposal.
  • The Province is also working with the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council on the plan for debris removal, while respecting the important heritage values in the area.
  • This clearing of municipal sites is expected to take as long as two months, while timeframes for individual properties will vary depending on insurance and the complexity of remaining debris on site.

Archeological work:

  • Lytton was built on land with significant cultural significance. The Village of Lytton is located within the Nlaka’pamux Territory, which includes eight Indigenous communities.
  • The Province’s Archaeology Branch is working with the Village of Lytton and the Kumsheen Heritage Committee to streamline progress with Heritage Conservation Act requirements.
  • The Archaeology Branch is processing a permit under the Heritage Conservation Act to inspect, investigate or collect materials from archaeological sites.
  • Due to the volume of properties requiring permits, the Archaeology Branch is using an umbrella permit approach for the area rather than permits for each property.
  • An umbrella permit would allow all 222 properties in Lytton to begin demolition and reconstruction work concurrently.
  • Previously, property owners were facing a cost of approximately $10,000 for an individual archeological permit under the Heritage Conservation Act.
  • In the event an artifact or item of cultural significance is found, excavation work must cease and additional permitting would be required through the Archaeology Branch.

Remediation:

  • Site remediation for the Village of Lytton will be the last step in this phase of the recovery and rebuilding work.
  • Soil remediation will remove any contaminants from the ground and restore the landscape into a safe site for the the village and residents to rebuild on.
  • Remediation work is complex and while some areas could be complete in months, others could take significantly longer.
 
Contact:
 
Emergency Management BC
Media Relations
250 880-6430
 

 
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