About 1,000 people were evacuated in western Canada, authorities said on Thursday (Jul 1), as fires raged amid an unprecedented heatwave, charring most of at least one town.
The province of British Columbia has recorded 62 new fires in the past 24 hours, premier John Horgan told a press conference.
"I cannot stress enough how extreme the fire risk is at this time in almost every part of British Columbia," Horgan said.
The town of Lytton, 250km northeast of Vancouver, "has sustained structural damage and 90 per cent of the village is burned, including the centre of town", local MP Brad Vis said.
The village's 250 residents were evacuated on Wednesday evening, one day after it set a jaw-dropping Canadian record high temperature of 49.6 degrees Celsius.
The evacuation order was extended on Wednesday night to residents of about 100 properties north of Lytton.
"The last 24 hours have been devastating for Lytton residents," Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan wrote on Twitter, adding that the Canadian armed forces "are ready to support residents as we move forward in the next steps".
Provincial authorities have not yet announced any injuries or deaths related to the fires, a number of which were also clustered north of the city of Kamloops, located about 150km northeast of Lytton.