Preparations underway to welcome more B.C. wildfire evacuees home

By The Canadian Press
July 25, 2017 - 10:29am

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The mayor of Williams Lake, B.C., says the city is ready to welcome thousands of residents home, as soon as fire officials give the okay.

About 10,000 residents of the Interior city were forced to leave more than a week ago when flames from several wildfires threatened to cut highway access.

Mayor Walt Cobb says some people have since been allowed back in to help get grocery stores, the hospital and other services ready for the looming re-entry.

Regional districts make decisions to lift or impose evacuation orders, with advice from wildfire and emergency officials.

Chris Duffy with Emergency Management BC says the hope is for Williams Lake residents to return “early to mid-week.”

About 20,000 people across the province remained displaced by wildfires yesterday, but Duffy says that number is down dramatically from last week’s tally of 45,000.

Fire crews were still battling more than 150 fires across B-C yesterday, and fire officials have warned that more winds are anticipated for the Cariboo region tomorrow and Thursday.

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