Nature is incredible. While it abounds with wild beauty, it can also be a very destructive force, and there is no better example of that than natural disasters.
There are so many natural phenomenons such as earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches, tornados, etc., that can serve as shocking reminders of just how powerful nature is.
Wildfires are also another natural reminder that we are at the mercy of nature. Unfortunately, because of climate change, we are seeing more and more of these destructive forces.
In Lytton, British Columbia, temperatures soared this summer, smashing Canada’s weather records as it became the warmest place on record in Canada. But with the record-breaking heat came disaster.
On June 28, 2021, Lytton hit an all-time high of 121.3F. Then, two days later on June 30, the town experienced a wildfire.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
The town’s residents were given only a 15-minute notice to evacuate as the fires spread quickly through the town. Sadly, those with pets who were not at home at the time were not able to return to collect their beloved pets. Those who were still at home did everything they could to help.
Recalling the emergency, Lytton’s Mayor Polderman said to the BBC, “Within about 15 minutes the whole town was engulfed in flame. People basically just grabbed their pets, grabbed their keys and got into their car and fled.”
Unfortunately for Tricia Thorpe, she was one of the people who was not at home during the fire and couldn’t get home to her hobby farm in time to save her animals. Both Thorpe and her husband, Don Glasgow, are school bus drivers so they were asked to help get residents of the town evacuated.
Once they’d helped out with the evacuations, they tried to get back home. But as Thorpe explained to Castanet, they weren’t so lucky as they were forced to evacuate.
Thorpe shared, “As I was coming down the hill [from the school] the whole town was on fire, it was burning from one end to the other. All you could see was all these buildings burning. It was incredible. I got to the bottom of the hill to turn up to our road, and the fire guys stopped me. They said I had to turn around and I had to do it now, because the fire was coming this way.”
The fire ended up destroying 90% of the town of Lytton. Thorpe wasn’t sure if her animals had even made it out of the blaze alive. She was desperate to go and check, but she wasn’t allowed back because it was still unsafe.
Not knowing what else to do, she posted to Lytton’s Facebook group page and asked if there was anyone still in the area that could check on her farm. After several days of anxiously waiting for a response, Thorpe was relieved to hear from the BC Wildfire Service firefighters. They had managed to make it up to her property, and they had good news for her. Seven puppies were found alive, alongside three of their four adult dogs, four sheep, and an alpaca.
Thorpe was relieved by the little glimmer of hope after she feared that she’d lost all her animals to the fire. Wildland firefighter, Jamie von Sacken, was able to post a heartwarming photo of the rescued animals to the “Lyttonites” Facebook group. The firefighters were taking good care of the animals, giving them food and water while they figured out a way to transport them all to safety.
Thorpe shared with Global News that it was “like a miracle” learning that some of her beloved animals had survived the devastating fire. She said, “I will forever, ever be grateful to those firefighters and everyone, the Lyttonites, for what they have done. I’ll never be able to repay them for that.”
This is definitely one of those stories that just fills you with so much gratitude for what you have and reminds you that the most important things in life are the people who love you, and your pets.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →