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CN last week announced it will contribute an additional CA$1.5 million to immediate relief efforts in the village of Lytton, British Columbia, and the Lytton First Nation.CN’s contribution will be spent according to the expressed needs of the Lytton community and the Lytton First Nation, CN officials said in a press release.
CN staff have been on the ground, cooperating with investigators and assisting authorities, since the wildfire struck two weeks ago. The Class I has offered electrical generators, refrigerated containers, electronic tablets, groceries, food and other necessities to residents sheltering in temporary accommodation.
CN has also offered to match donations to the relief effort by its nearly 26,000 employees.
Several CN employees live in and around Lytton. CN provided immediate support and has ensured all are safe and accounted for.
Canadian Pacific also has pledged CA$1 million to support wildfire recovery efforts in Lytton.
A village of a population of about 250 people, Lytton went up in flames earlier this month during extremely hot and dry conditions across the province. About 90% of the village was burned in the fire and two people died, according to media reports.
Investigators are probing whether local rail traffic is responsible for starting the fire, which was exacerbated by the heat, amid temperatures that climate researchers say would virtually not be possible without human-caused global warming, The New York Times reported yesterday.
Meanwhile, Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra has ordered that CN and CP may not operate trains in certain subdivisions in British Columbia where the fire danger level is "extreme."
The order, which is in effect until Oct. 31, affects rail operations between Kamloops and Boston Bar or between Kamloops and North Bend in the Thompson and Ashcroft subdivisions.
Alghabra issued the order in response to the wildfires in Lytton, British Columbia, the Lytton First Nation and the surrounding areas. Extreme weather and wildfire risk continues to pose an acute danger in British Columbia, as well as other parts of Canada.