Although people are rejoicing over the news that Williams Lake evacuations orders have been downgraded, officials want to remind people only some areas are allowed to return, and they will still remain under alert.
Minister of public safety and solicitor general Mike Farnworth is urging Williams Lake residents to register for alerts and check maps before returning home.
“Although some of the conditions have eased, like high winds that have fanned the flames earlier on, hot and dry weather conditions continue to make these wildfires a high risk to many communities,” said Farnworth.
Farnworth is urging residents to take their time, be cautious and consult reliable sources for up-to-date information. Not all neighbourhoods in the Williams Lake area are downgraded, and some do remain under evacuation order. Information as to where the order boundaries are and who will be allowed back in can be found at Cariboord.ca or via their Facebook page.
Officials are reminding people that they should still remain vigilant and have an evacuation plan in place in case re-evacuation of the area is needed. People planning to return home should register with the Cariboo-Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive updates, ensure essential items are available, as well as plans for pets and accommodations in case of another order.
Kevin Skrepnec of the BC Wildfire Service wants residents to be aware that there is still the threat of wildfire in the area and weather could change the situation quickly leading to an escalation in danger.
Robert Turner, of Emergency Management BC is warning residents of delays when returning to Williams Lake. People who have homes in areas remaining under evacuation will be turned away, again serving as a reminder to check if your area has been downgraded before making the journey home.
A resilience centre will be set up tomorrow for people who have returned home. The centre will be equipped with a number of amenities and support for re-entry.
RCMP are urging people to listen to officials and be patient. Significant delays will happen on travel routes and patrols are still operating 24/7 to detect and deter criminality. Anyone with any concerns about their home should contact RCMP non-emergency line at 250-392-6211.