Inside the hidden, one-year journey toward Lytton, B.C.’s post-wildfire rebuild

In the naked eye, little has changed since Liton, B.C. On June 30, 2021, a fire broke out, causing an estimated $ 100 million in insurance damage.

On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the fire, work has begun to remove debris from residents who have insured homes and businesses. But Lithton Canada’s temperature is 49.5C, and after last year’s devastating wildfires, the physical landscape is largely the same.

Unprecedented, however, is the most complex claim negotiations between the Canadian P&C insurance industry, the state government and the federal government. The purpose of the extended discussions is to ensure that the village is safe, stable and fire-resistant.

Rob de Prusus said the Canadian Bureau of Consumer and Industrial Relations had not seen a 30-year history in the P&C industry (more than 22 in the claim area) and that it had never seen a large-scale claim settlement process. Classes.

Four factors contributed to Liton’s specialized care. One of them is the archeological aspect of the reconstruction process.

“The village of Litton has been inhabited by indigenous communities for over 10,000 years. Canadian author. “There are many designated archeological sites in the village, and this area is a very important archeological site.

“So they want to make sure we are sensitive and respectful to archaeological concerns whenever they disturb the soil.”

He said dozens of artifacts had been found in the process of preparing the debris. Many of the found stone tools or stone materials are known as ‘Digigan’.

“This is a monument,” says De Prussian. But there is a very good chance there [may] There are even more important archaeological artifacts: human remains.

As a result, Canadian insurers are working closely with state and federal governments, villagers, and primary communities to remove debris. Aspects of the process must be carried out in BC Heritage LawThis adds another complexity.

“There are some archaeologists,” says De Prus. “So it will take some time to get the licenses because we are working here on dozens and dozens of properties within the village limits.”

Such a permit would require the training of claimants to assist those who are exploring the soil. If something is found, local claimants want to make sure there are resources to do the necessary follow-up work, depending on the nature of the discovery.

The second major complication of Litton’s reconstruction is the ratio of income to insurance and loss of insurance. This raises the question of how a continuous rebuilding process will continue for both uninsured and uninsured residents.

For example, P&C insurers are following the required archeological and sanitation protocols, and most uninsured damage is outside the scope of P&C insurers, who are not responsible for restoring uninsured losses or losses. The question is, do uninsured people follow the same protocols for safe and continuous reconstruction as P&C insurers?

Or, as De Prus, asks: “For uninsured archeology departments, who pays anyone to remove the ruins? Who is responsible for this? Private landlord? Is it the government? It is not the insurance industry, because they do not have insurance.

These questions were part of the preparation behind the scene to clean up the debris. Here, de Prussia contributed nearly $ 50 million to the BBC regional government for its reconstruction.

The CBC reported last month that the federal government would spend $ 77 million to rebuild the fire-resistant way.

“More than three-quarters of the new funding – $ 64 million – will go to new fire-fighting public buildings such as community centers and libraries,” Rhianna Schmunk told CBC. “The remaining $ 13 million has been earmarked for rebuilding fire-resistant homes for small and medium-sized businesses and insurers.”

De Prus observed that the third complex environment is consistent, with limited resources available to do the work. Prior to the fire, Lithuan had about 250 inhabitants.

“So, we don’t have a big community like the Metropolitan Center, which provides insurance people, for disaster managers, a huge part of the public service that does all this work and has tens or hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.

“We have very limited resources here. Public works [has basically] Only one person can do all the work [need]. They do not have the money to do all the necessary cleaning. Therefore, it takes some time for the district to provide those funds and also to measure what funds are needed and also to find the right people.

When you start talking about contractors, soil pollution and cleaning, and where to put the rubble and some special challenges, such as archeology, it takes a long time to bring qualified professionals to the site.

Finally, fire is not uncommon for Litton. The city of De Prus was hit by industrial fires in the 1930s and 1940s, raising historical soil pollution. Some need to be cleaned up to ensure that the city is rebuilt. The process is complicated by the fact that the village has lost all its print and digital records in the fire – including its bylaws and tax records.

And so, in the course of history, commercial vehicles may spill mercury acid from burning batteries or headlights. Railway workers may have left railway connections (at unknown locations). And asbestos in some buildings. Following the fire in 2021, it may have flown to other areas where insurers are rebuilding.

“The question is, is that so? [burned] Vehicle [for example] Insurance is on or insured property. Who is responsible for that pollution? And, who’s going to sample that area? ” Says de Pruis.

“It will take some time to go through all these processes to find a consistent process that applies to everyone, whether you have insurance or not. The ultimate goal of this community is to live safely for years to come.”

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