Lytton, BC: Debris removal underway as one-year anniversary of wildfire approaches

June 28, 2022 (VANCOUVER): This week marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating and tragic wildfire that swept through the Village of Lytton on June 30, 2021. While the recovery process has been challenging, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to see debris-removal work begin for residents of insured homes and businesses damaged by the wildfire. 

"The situation in Lytton is unique and unlike any post-disaster reconstruction effort in Canadian history," said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific and Western, IBC. "While Lytton's residents and businesses have had little reason for optimism over the past year, we now have a path to begin the recovery, and I'd like to commend and thank everyone involved in getting us to this point. It's critical that we continue to work together during the rebuild process to ensure it stays on track. We are now at a point where we can turn frustration into hope that the Village of Lytton will thrive once again in the very near future."

Recognizing the likelihood that Indigenous archaeological artifacts may be located in the area, insurers have been steadfast in their support of a respectful, responsible and timely debris removal process that protects these items, if discovered. The additional cost for this archeological work is now being covered through financial support committed from the BC government for both insured and uninsured properties. Archeological work is not covered by insurance, and the support from the government will ensure residents are not financially burdened by this additional cost.

Timeframes for debris removal for individual properties will vary depending on the complexity of recovery and any potential environmental contamination of the site.

Last year's wildfires were the second-worst on record for insured loss, surpassed only by the 2003 wildfires. The wildfire that devastated Lytton is now estimated to have caused more than $100 million in insured damage, according to recent figures from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). In addition to Lytton, the White Rock Lake fire caused more than $77 million in insured losses. In the communities affected, such as Killiney Beach and Monte Lake, the debris removal process is largely completed, and reconstruction of many insured properties is well underway.

"Canada's insurers are eager to rebuild the homes and businesses in Lytton," said Sutherland. "The provincial government has been a critical partner in providing the necessary resources to kick-start the recovery process. With debris removal now commencing on insured properties, there is hope we will soon see Lytton return as a thriving community once again."

IBC is leading advocacy with all levels of government on the need to prepare our communities now for severe weather events that are increasing in frequency and severity, like floods and wildfires.

Anyone affected by this event or who has questions about their home, vehicle or business insurance, can call their insurance representative or IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

The amount of insured damage is an estimate provided by CatIQ ( under licence to IBC.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up the vast majority of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

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