One of two rail companies with routes through Lytton, B.C., says it has resumed service after a wildfire devastated the village last week, a move one First Nations leader says he’s willing to do “what’s necessary” to stop.
Canadian Pacific Railway says in a statement that mainline operations resumed Monday after safety inspections were completed of the tracks and infrastructure.
The company says it is increasing inspections of its tracks and equipment during this period of extreme weather and staff are on-site supporting local authorities.
Service for both CP and Canadian National rail lines were halted by the fire and Canadian Pacific says it disrupted critical transportation services for the movement of goods across Western Canada and the rest of the continent.
However, Chief Matt Pasco of the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council in Lytton says the resumption of rail service amid tinder-dry conditions is creating anxiety for members following the destruction of the town in a matter of minutes.
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When asked if he was considering blocking the rail, Pasco says he is hoping conversations with relevant agencies will result in the service halting, but he is also willing to do what’s necessary in the name of safety and has reached out to others asking them to stand in solidarity.
Pasco says safety should be a top priority while there is still a high risk of fire and he has raised his concerns with both the premier’s office and federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller.
“I will use our jurisdiction to do what’s necessary to save our people and make sure they’re out of harm’s way,” he says.
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