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RT&S and Railway Age last week reported on the devastating wildfire that destroyed the town of Lytton, British Columbia, along with infrastructure of both Canadian Pacific (CP) and CN. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
The Vancouver Sun is reporting that Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has received information from the RCMP and B.C. Wildfire services that a freight train may have been the source of the fire, and has begun an investigation.
Some residents of Lytton reported seeing a wheel on a freight train shooting sparks as it went by, but neither CN or CP have reported this. In addition, the TSB does not know which company’s train was generating the reported wheel sparks. CN said the fire was not caused by any of its trains.
Marc Miller, the Indigenous Services Minister, said: “At this critical juncture, it is imperative that we all listen to the voices of Indigenous leaders and engage meaningfully on a path forward that respects their needs and priorities, while ensuring rail safety and security.
On July 11, Canada’s Minister of Transport issued a statement requiring CP and CN to employ precautionary measures around wildfires. The statement is reproduced, in part, below.
“An unprecedented wildfire has displaced hundreds of people in Lytton, British Columbia, the Lytton First Nation and the surrounding areas. Extreme weather and wildfire risk continues to pose an acute danger in British Columbia, as well as other parts of Canada. Therefore, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, today announced a Ministerial Order to immediately enact precautionary safety measures to further protect against wildfires in the context of extreme weather conditions.
“The Ministerial Order, in effect as of midnight PDT, July 10, 2021, requires the following:
“Operations between Kamloops and Boston Bar or between Kamloops and North Bend on the Thompson and Ashcroft Subdivisions
“Extreme Weather Fire Risk Mitigation throughout Canada
“With extreme weather events occurring more severely and frequently in Canada due to climate change, it is important to have an adaptive regulatory system that responds to these new risks. This Ministerial Order will put in place interim measures while the department works with railway companies to incorporate these fire risk reduction measures on a permanent basis into the existing regulatory framework for railway operations in Canada.”
The post What Started the Fire Near Lytton, B.C.? appeared first on Railway Age.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
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