The wildfires that devastated the city of Lytton B.C. were not caused by any train activity, a newly released report has found.
The Transportation Safety Board released details of the investigation into the cause of the massive fire on its website Thursday morning.
As a result of significant work to determine whether there was a “certain link” between railway operations and the fire, the report states that no link has been identified.
The wildfire investigation is ongoing by the BC Wildfire Service. The RCMP is also conducting a preliminary investigation to determine the need for a parallel criminal investigation.
The wildfire on June 30 burned about 90 percent of the small community in southern BC
Two people died.
Both the Lytton First Nation and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District have in the past suggested the possibility that a train was responsible for the fire, and several witnesses described seeing train fires in the area of Lytton prior to the tragic event.
Ryan Marander told Granthshala News that he saw the train fire in Lytton between 3 and 4 p.m. on the day the community was burning.
“We saw a train on a trestle, sort of between the freeway and Lytton, and the train was stopped and under one of the flat deck cars, which looked like it was carrying wrapped wood, We saw fires under one of the cars – maybe four feet in diameter or something seemed to be at the base,” he said.
Another witness called 911 when he saw a fire on a southbound train outside the Boston bar that same afternoon, about 44 kilometers south of Lytton.
Litton residents are still standing in the community, in hotels, with family, or in a handful of homes.
A timeline or exact details of when residents may begin to return are still unclear at this time.
more to come.