Telus sets up mobile cell tower for Lytton, B.C. emergency crews

VANCOUVER — Telus Corp. says its has deployed emergency communications equipment to support local authorities and emergency crews dealing with the wildfire in Lytton, B.C.

Telus is the main wireless provider for the Lytton area, where about 1,000 people fled to safety after the emergency evacuation order was issued this week.

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Officials have said a lack of cell service has made it difficult to determine if anyone remains in the village, southwest of Kamloops in the B.C. interior.

Telus spokeswoman Liz Sauve said Friday the company set up a mobile cell tower at about 6 p.m. Thursday to provide temporary service in the area.

The company announced earlier Thursday that the fire disabled two of its cellphone towers in the area.

"The Lytton wildfire damaged Telus's fibre line, which disrupted services to customers' homes and also affected the two cell towers that provided wireless service throughout the community," Sauve said Friday.

Telus workers are in the area to assess what equipment and technicians will be required to restore services once they get permission from emergency management crews, she said.

The Vancouver-based company provides mobile, phone and internet services throughout British Columbia and Alberta, including in Lytton.

Telus said Thursday it's suspending all wireless overage charges throughout the month of July and indefinitely suspended billing for residential customers who have been forced out of their homes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2021.

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