Poor Salmon Man devastated after fireplace devastated Lytton First Nation neighborhood – Victoria Information
At around 5 p.m. on June 30, Wes Snukwa’s phone rang.
It was his father in a panic.
“He started yelling on the phone, ‘The whole town of Lytton is being evacuated …’
“I was just incredulous. He yelled at me on the phone, yelled at the family in the house, yelled at everyone at the door, and told them to evacuate. He yelled at my uncle Arnold to get in the car because he was trying to get things out of the house, ”says Snukwa, who lives in Salmon’s arm.
While they had watched another larger wildfire for a few days, this one was smaller and suddenly appeared under the village.
There was no time to join the family trailer.
The fire literally chased the two vehicles with his parents, brother, sister, one of his uncle who lives with them, and another uncle who was visiting, Snukwa said. They also took people along on the way.
“In the truck in front of my family there were people and dogs in a box of a truck,” he said. “You just had to get in and out.”
Snukwa’s family is part of the Lytton First Nation. He said his reservation was right next to the village; His family’s home is on Main Street Lytton, but on the reserve side. He said the town was probably only two miles long. His family had to drive down to the village, into the black smoke, to escape onto Highway 12 to Lillooet.
Snukwa (also called Wilson) grew up in Lytton and was the only one in his family to move away.
His parents have lived in the family home for 60 years. Snukwa, 44, grew up there but moved to Salmon Arm with his wife Kristine Wilson about 16 years ago. She grew up in Salmon Arm and wanted to return because she was pregnant.
“It’s just heartbreaking, just terrible to think about the house we grew up in, our neighbors, our aunts, our cousins. To know that their houses have been completely demolished. Literally our entire reserve has been flattened. “
He said it was unreal to look at all of the photos posted on Facebook by these families.
“I can’t believe it, there are only chimneys.”
He’s not sure if his family’s home was burned to the ground, but he believes it was.
Snukwa feels helpless, so far away in Salmon’s arms.
“You can’t even go there, the three motorways are cut off,” he adds.
He pointed out that some reports said only 250 people were evacuated from Lytton, but that doesn’t include the more than 1,000 people from the adjacent Lytton First Nation.
Continue reading: BREAKING: Footage shows houses piling up in flames as wildfire rages through Lytton
Continue reading: From smoke to devastation: 23 minutes in Lytton
Snukwa’s parents stayed at Lillooet Rec Center on the night of the evacuation, but then had to go to Merritt, where they slept in the car. Housing was found for them in Kelowna, so they went there on July 2nd. He said the people he knows are scattered around Logan Lake, Merritt, Chilliwack, Hope, Lillooet, and the Fraser Valley.
“Everyone I know and worry about is considered.”
Snukwa said he was so grateful for the surrounding communities, for donations and for help.
“For taking in my family and giving my parents food, clothes and water and a meeting place. I am so sorry my aunts and cousins and childhood friends, I am so sorry that their houses with all their memories burned down. “
What’s next: “We all need to connect, hug, and talk. Everyone wants to go home. But why do you want to go home? We don’t know what they’re going home for … I think my sister said it right. You can rebuild, but you cannot get the comfort of your parents back. “
When asked about donations, Snukwa said he has a lot of faith in the Savage Society, which has set up a GoFundMe page whose donations go directly to victims. If you’d like to donate, go to: Help Our Friends in Lytton.
Continue reading: Armstrong donates supporters full of supplies to victims of the Lytton fire
Continue reading: This is how you can help the victims of the devastating forest fire in Lytton
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
BC Wildfires 2021LyttonSalmon Arm
Wes Snukwa’s family home in Lytton, BC, which may have been destroyed by wildfire on June 30, 2021. (Contributed)