A MOST UNWELCOME GUEST is coming to town, and its name is Wildfire.
A few hours before his community was leveled this week, Lytton Mayor Jan Polderman was talking to local media about the heat wave, noting that residents would be giving their air conditioners a good workout in the coming days.
He had no way of knowing a raging wildfire would seemingly come out of nowhere and sweep through the community, destroying 90 per cent of its businesses and homes. A thousand people had to flee for their lives Wednesday night, many with nothing but the vehicles they drove away in.
I don’t know Polderman well but he strikes me as a low-key straight shooter, the kind of guy you’d want in charge during an emergency. A lot of cool heads are needed right now.
Thursday night brought the close call in Juniper and Valleyview.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.