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More people are being allowed to return to their homes as evacuation orders have been rescinded in many parts of the province.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

Verdict to be delivered December 15 for three on trial in Anahim murders

The fates of Christian Craciun, Andrew Jongbloets, and Serena Rhem (Mack) will be decided on December 15 at 10am.

‘I fell asleep’ admits second mate in Nathan E. Stewart fuel spill

The tug spilled more than 100,000 litres of diesel off B.C.’s northern coast

Northwest’s new MRI hits milestone

Stakeholders celebrate 500th scan of diagnostic imaging device

VIDEO: Best photos of the Supermoon 2017

At its closest, the Frost Moon was about 363,300 km away from the Earth

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

Pipe bomb explodes in NYC subway

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in NYC subway, injuring 4

Toronto FC to hold victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Toronto FC to hold downtown victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Canada’s only commercial spaceport hopes to launch 12 rockets per year

Nova Scotia’s rocket launch site hopes to eventually host 12 launches per year

‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

The nominees were announced from Beverly Hills after still-burning fires ravaged Southern California for the past week.

B.C. actress’s role in Wonder brings perspective to the topic of bullying

Crystal Lowe plays bully’s mother in the Hollywood movie

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

Most Read