Transport Minister Omar Alghabra speaks while Ottawa South MP David McGuinty looks on during a press conference at the Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra speaks while Ottawa South MP David McGuinty looks on during a press conference at the Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

Transport minister halts trains near Lytton as evacuees make temporary return

Raging blazes have damaged rail tracks and held up shipments across the B.C. interior, prompting a backlog of deliveries

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra is ordering most trains in the vicinity of Lytton, B.C., to halt as residents return temporarily to the wildfire-scorched community.

Alghabra says the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways must cease movement for 48 hours, except for emergency fire response and maintenance and repair work, on stretches of track spanning parts of the B.C. interior.

He says the aim is safe rail operations and public safety as residents arrive in Lytton today by bus to inspect their homes after evacuating the village when a wildfire swept in last week.

The raging blazes have damaged rail tracks and held up shipments across the B.C. interior, prompting a backlog of deliveries.

Residents are still processing the loss of their homes after most buildings in their community were levelled by the wildfires, one of which spanned nearly 90 square kilometres.

Premier John Horgan plans to ask the federal government to send in the Canadian Armed Forces to help clear fire danger zones in an effort to prevent future blazes.

The Canadian Press

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B.C. Wildfires 2021Lytton

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