It feels like one thing after another in Lytton.
“We went from a fire to having floods to now it’s snowing in and it calls for more snow. So, I’m actually worried about the next little bit here," said Britannia Glasgow, who lives with her father on part of the Lytton First Nation, just above the Village of Lytton.
The village was levelled by a wildfire on June 30, 2021.
This winter has seen a series of incidents close highway access to and from the community, including avalanches last week. When the Trans-Canada Highway is closed, residents have to take Highway 12.
“All our grocery stores and everything, basic needs that we need are from Lillooet. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on that road before but it’s pretty scary from Lytton to Lillooet in good weather, let alone when it’s snowing out,” explained Glasgow.
She worries the outside world has forgotten about the people of her community.
“I just recently moved back since the fire happened and I don’t know, I was expecting a little bit more than what’s here now. It seems everybody is defeated and feeling like they aren’t being heard. I think I’ve heard six or seven of my friends tell me that they don’t think that anybody cares about the ‘little people here in Lytton’. Some people are struggling way worse than I am right now and I think that my life is not the greatest right now.”
Britannia told Castanet when she first moved back to her dad’s place there was no running water and they had to take jugs to the creek, fill them up and then boil the water before using it.
She spent several months in Kelowna waiting for the all-clear to go home and decided to return shortly before Christmas.
She said since the fire, members of the community have been dispersed.
“There’s people in Kamloops, there's people down in Chillliwack, there’s people in Lillooet. Just everybody’s everywhere. I wonder what long-term plan is going to be happening for these people. You think that they would have some sort of little housing happening. I heard there was Camp Hope, but from my understanding, there’s not a lot of room there.”
She said her friends who were forced into temporary accommodation in Kamloops are struggling to get their lives back on track and many never wanted to leave in the first place.
Glasgow is worried about what this prolonged state of upheaval is doing to the fabric of the community.
“You’d think maybe the band or the village would be doing something, or anybody would be doing something to get these people together.”
She doesn’t understand why there aren’t any emergency services within the immediate area.
“If they want to tell me they can’t have it in town because of air quality, or because of the evacuation order or because of Thompson-Nicola Regional District, why can’t they set one up down in Boston Bar or anywhere closer by. I’m scared for my health, to be honest with you.”
She said recently when her grandmother had a heart attack. It took an hour for the ambulance to arrive from Lillooet. Glasgow worries if it happened again in snowy conditions or during avalanche-related road closures, the ambulance might not arrive in time.
Last month, the Government of B.C. announced a $1 million grant to help the Village of Lytton restart the local economy and cover some municipal operations, including paying staff.
The Village of Lytton is hosting a Community Meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2022, to discuss what’s next in the Community Recovery Planning process.
The Lytton First Nation has also been posting regular updates on its website.