A forest fire that began after three days of record-breaking temperatures has destroyed most of the small western Canadian town of Lytton.

Iran PressAmerica: More than 1,000 people in and around Lytton, in central British Columbia, were evacuated late on Wednesday after the fast-moving fire engulfed the community, catching residents by surprise.

officials told the briefing that some residents were unaccounted for, and said "most homes and structures" in Lytton have been lost. The cause of the fire was being investigated.

Lytton set a record of 49.6 degrees Celsius (121.28 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday. The previous high in Canada, known for brutally cold winters, was 45 degrees Celsius, set in Saskatchewan in 1937.

On Wednesday, strong winds gusting up to 71 kph (44 mph) were recorded in the area, flaming the fires.

The province recorded at least 486 sudden deaths over five days to Wednesday, nearly three times the usual number that would occur in the province over that period, the B.C. Coroners Service said on Wednesday.


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