The shirtless, grey bearded man meandered amidst the burned out of husk of what was a B.C. village while excitedly speaking to his Facebook Live audience. He spoke about how suspicious it was that some trees didn’t burn while others did and walked up to a greyed and ashy collection of burned out cars and trucks abandoned by the residents who had to flee immediately as a sudden wildfire ripped through the place they called home.
As the man put it, it looked like a “fuckin’ war zone.” He was in the midst of explaining how these “cars aren't really flammable” when he spotted it, a fruit-bearing tree. A tree that was just what he needed to prove a conspiracy that a giant laser may have actually burned down the village.
“That tree still has leaves on it, those cherries might actually be tasty," he said and marched up. Sadly when he approached the cherry tree, the fruit did “not look tasty” and therefore was unable to support his cause.
The man is just one of the many conspiracy theorists focused on Lytton where, on June 30, a ferocious wildfire forced the residents to flee at a moment's notice. The fire proceeded to burn down 90 percent of the village and two residents died. Just days before the fire Lytton garnered international headlines after setting multiple records for the hottest temperature in Canadian history. An investigation into the fire's cause is still ongoing with a clear focus on the possibility that the fire was started by a passing train.
Like almost every newsworthy event these days, the devastating fire is being used as proof of nefarious conspiracies that, of course, touch on globalists and vaccinations. Some conspiracy theorists are going so far as to journey to the small village to search the wreckage for evidence and try to interview the evacuees who are trying to piece their lives back together. Their evidence for the conspiracies ranges from the conventional, ‘look how weird it is that this tree burned and this one didn’t; to the downright inane, a fire information worker's name is Forrest Tower and that name is so apt therefore the entire situation must be fake.
The man who streamed himself sneaking into the town goes by Kyle Cardinal. He’s a semi-recognizable player in the Canadian conspiracy scene and was a key member of the anti-mask “freedom convoy” which tried, and failed, to cross Canada. Cardinal said he snuck onto the village grounds with a group of people offering aid to those there and would just “burn” the fines he may get for trespassing. He streamed on Facebook for a half-hour in which he filmed the burned-out husks of homes and cars, repeatedly wondered how some trees burned and others didn’t, and spouted off a wide variety of fanciful conspiracies.
“I might get directed energy weaponed,” he says, referring to a popular conspiracy that a giant laser beam burned down the town. “It's going to be hard to convince me this wasn't somehow purposeful.”
Cardinal has since deleted the video and apologized for publicly showing who brought him into the town and not handling the situation “respectfully.”
Jean Strong, a spokesperson for the BC Wildfire Service, told VICE World News they’re aware of the conspiracies building around the disaster but “it is not something we engage with.” She added it is normal for some areas to be left untouched and others burned as it comes down to how well the house has been constructed, fire activity, and, simply, luck.
Cardinal is not the only conspiracy theorist who has travelled to Lytton in search of evidence of their conspiracies. Another figure active in the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine conspiracy scene claims she’s made several trips to Lytton and is attempting to interview evacuees and authorities about what occurred. She’s been invited to several popular far-right and conspiracy vlogs to discuss her “research.”
The influencers have posited two central theses.
The first focuses on Dr. Charles Hoffe, a Lytton family physician who gained some infamy for questioning the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the spring. His outspoken anti-vaccine rhetoric was a double edged sword for Hoffe as he got a plethora of anti-vaxx love for his outspoken attitude but also was removed from shifts at the Lytton emergency room as a result.
The theory goes that a direct energy weapon (essentially a powerful laser known as DEW) was used by powerful elites, who are invested in the vaccine being taken, to burn down the entire town as payback for Hoffe’s anti-vaxx tirades. A form of this DEW conspiracy pops up every wildfire season. Another theory is that a train did start the fire but since the Gates Foundation holds sizable shares in CN Rail, the fire was started on purpose as revenge from the Gates family (again because of Hoffe.)
Sadly, the conspiracy theorists couldn’t get Hoffe to endorse these theories when he joined a YouTube conspiracy show. Hoffe recounted his harrowing trip out of the flames but said he couldn’t “comment on the speed at which this fire engulfed the town” because it “could have just been the ferocious wind that had dried out.”
The second theory posits the fire, and accompanying heatwave, was man-made and used as an excuse for the globalists to instate future “climate lockdowns.” This one is growing in popularity among some anti-lockdown influencers who recognize that the COVID-19 lockdowns are coming to an end.
Like with most conspiracies, the influencers are essentially just throwing stuff at the wall to see what their followers gravitate towards. Amazing Polly, one of the larger Canadian conspiracy influencers even made a graphic that featured several options for her audience including Bill Gates instructing a train conductor to set the fire, a “weather weapon,” blaming Indigenous activists, and the blaze being caused by self-combusting cell towers.
In some points, Polly calls into question the mainstream explanations for the fire because one of the people quoted in a story about Lytton was named “Forest Tower” and that obviously must be a fake name.
“They've got plants in there that they can call on to give good quotes because he works in the fire service and his name is Forrest Tower,” she said. “Come on.”
A spokesperson for BC Fire was kind enough to confirm to VICE World News that Tower was “a real person.”
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