Sunday, August 8, 2021

Decimation doesn’t begin to describe what happened in Lytton

BC Interior, July 2021
watercolour and crayon
©2021 Charlene Brown

Decimation was a form of Roman military discipline in which every tenth man in a group was executed by members of his cohort. 

At the end of June, after three successive days on which the highest temperatures ever recorded in Canada were reached in Lytton, British Columbia, 90% of the town was destroyed in a firestorm.  This was described in one TV interview as ‘decimation.’ 

There is no sufficiently horrific word to describe the near-total ruin when all but 10% is destroyed.

The Lytton fire continued to spread and more wildfires ignited so that by the end of July the smoke from hundreds of fires in the hills above vineyards and orchards of the interior of British Columbia reached across North America.