The Columbia Unit Crew returns to the Charlie Division staging area for their next assignment while battling the wildfire near Cache Creek. (Photo by Ryan Gow, BC Wildfire Service)

Wildfire evacuation numbers beginning to decline

More people allowed back into their homes, but threat to leave remains high and depends on weather.

  • Jul. 24, 2017 1:30 p.m.

More people are being allowed to return to their homes as evacuation orders have been rescinded in many parts of the province.

Wildfire officials today said the number of total evacuees has dropped from almost 50,000 last week (those who have signed up with the Red Cross) to 20,300 after residents of 100 Mile House, Cache Creek, Princeton and other communities were allowed to return home.

RELATED: Evacuation order lifted for 100 Mile House and South Cariboo

Many of these areas are still under an evacuation alert, meaning they could be forced to leave again on short notice. Those residents returning to their communities are asked to obey signage and bring any essential supplies with them, and ensure that any food and water is safe before consuming something they had previously left behind.

RELATED: Several new blazes sparked over the weekend

There are still 154 wildfires burning around the province, including 19 new fires that began on Sunday. So far this season, fires have burned almost 400,000 hectares in British Columbia at a cost of just over $132 million.

Hundreds of fire fighters continue attacking the blazes, including almost 1,000 crew members from out-of-province. This is in addition to 213 aircraft helping at this time and other first responders, including the military.

It’s still unknown when Highway 97 will be reopened, as officials must ensure the road will be safe and secure by both RCMP and local authorities.

RELATED: Evacuation centres prepare for long term

Officials also said today that Williams Lake may be downgraded sometime this week to allow some residents to begin coming home, but that will depend on fire activity and the weather. It’s expected to remain unstable with hot, windy conditions and no major rain activity for the next couple of days.

Some areas affected by wildfires could see thundershowers mid-week as well.


 

@ragnarhaagen
ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

“Huge disappointment” as BCVT learns Northern Sea Wolf will not sail this summer

The Nimpkish is arrriving near-empty as frustrated travelers can’t get to Bella Bella for transfer

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Protection order issued after Bella Coola bear attack

Fruit trees to be removed after sow grizzly defended cubs and sent man to hospital

Bella Coola enjoys 33rd Annual Valley Ridge Riders Rodeo

Sunny skies on Monday added a welcome touch to an otherwise damp weekend

First Nation pipeline protesters erect ‘tiny homes’ in B.C. Park

Kanahus Manuel and Tiny House Warriors say more homes being constructed in park

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

Most Read