Wildfires in British Columbia | Fort Nelson evacuees can return home

Wildfires in British Columbia | Fort Nelson evacuees can return home
Wildfires in British Columbia | Fort Nelson evacuees can return home

(Fort Nelson) Residents of Fort Nelson, British Columbia, are now allowed to return home after being evacuated for more than two weeks due to the wildfire that was looming just outside the city.

Posted at 6:17 a.m.

Updated at 12:59 p.m.

The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and Fort Nelson First Nation jointly announced at 8 a.m. Monday morning that they were lifting the evacuation order. Authorities then dismantled the roadblocks that prevented residents from returning to their homes.

People living in this area are now under an “evacuation alert”, meaning they must be ready to leave at short notice.

“The alert will remain in effect until the risk is eliminated,” underlines a press release from the City.

About 4,700 people were evacuated from Fort Nelson on May 10, when high winds pushed the Parker Lake Fire a few kilometers from the city.

The blaze destroyed four homes and damaged six other properties in the area. The City has stated that many residences are not secure, so access is limited to their owner.

Fort Nelson General Hospital reopened in the morning, but services are limited at this time. Health officials said people needing hospital care will continue to be transferred to other facilities in the northeastern part of the province.

Separately, fire crews are also battling a fire in Patry Creek, about 25 kilometers north of the city. This fire was originally started by lightning in July last year.

The BC Wildfire Service says due to Sunday’s rain and firefighters’ efforts, the 123 square kilometer fire is not expected to expand. However, it is still in progress. Experts expect parts of the forest to continue burning into the fall.

The mayor of the regional municipality, Rob Fraser, asked residents to be patient, as traffic is expected to be heavy on the road between Fort Nelson and Fort St. John, 380 km to the south. This is where several residents of Fort Nelson took refuge.

According to the latest data provided by British Columbia authorities, 113 active forest fires are recorded in the province, including 102 in the northeast.



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