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July 8, 2021
(CNN)Schoolteacher Katrina Sam has lived in Lytton in the Canadian province of British Columbia all her life, but a week after a disastrous wildfire, the town she grew up in is almost entirely gone.
Lytton itself is a village of just 250 inhabitants, but over 1,000 people live in the surrounding Indigenous reserves, and the population is largely made up of Indigenous Nlaka’pamux people. IR18 — the reserve Sam is from — has been entirely wiped out, save for one fireproof home.
On the evening of June 30, Sam and her husband were relaxing on the couch and watching television before her evening classes when he suddenly got a text from a friend saying there was a fire at the end of town.
They decided to drive down to see what was happening, but the text hadn’t prepared them for the gravity of the situation. Their small town of Lytton was in flames — and they had to leave immediately.
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