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B.C. commits $21 million to help rebuild infrastructure in Lytton after fire

Structures that were destroyed by wildfire are seen in Lytton, B.C., on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. The fire-ravaged community of Lytton, B.C., will get $21 million from the provincial government to help it rebuild essential infrastructure and services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The fire-ravaged community of Lytton is getting $21 million from the provincial government to help it rebuild essential infrastructure and services.

The Public Safety Ministry said in a statement the new funding will support priorities identified in Lytton’s recovery plan, including the hiring of staff and restoration of services, such as fire protection, to allow c­onstruction to start.

The funds will also go to rebuilding municipal structures and assessing water and sewer infrastructure, and is in addition to almost $28 million in provincial funding announced earlier this year.

Two people were killed and much of the community was destroyed when wildfire ripped through Lytton almost a year ago.

The funding announcement comes after International ­Development Minister Harjit Sajjan visited the village site last week and announced $77 million in funding from the federal government to help ­Lytton build a fire-resistant and energy-efficient community.

The B.C. government said the village site is expected to be ready for the next phases of building, including planning and permitting, this fall.

“We know there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, but this new funding is a ­significant step toward recovery,” said Roly Russell, parliamentary ­secretary for rural development.

Lytton Mayor Jan Polderman said in a statement that, without the funding for infrastructure, a rebuild would be “impossible.”

“The funding is welcomed for upping our game on public communication and engagement and developing an economic ­recovery plan,” he said.

“Now that most, if not all, the actions identified in the ­short-term recovery plan are flushed out, the funding also allows for us to move forward with the development of our medium-to-long term recovery plan.”