Numerous Evacuation Orders Being Recinded

Marek Tkach

Evacuation orders are being lifted all across the Northwest Fire Centre following a wet weekend across the region

While it may look like the beginning of the end for the majority of the large wildfires burning in the northwest, the BC Wildfire Service is thinking differently.

A group of people forced from their homes because of the Verdun Mountain fire are now able to return. Over the long weekend the evacuation order ended for residents south of the east end of Cheslatta Lake to the Nechako Reservoir and Residents living south from Francois Lake to north of Takysie and Uncha Lakes, as well as east from Tatalrose and Bickle Lakes to Uncha Mountains/ Red Hills Provincial Park.

"The weather has been good for firefighting efforts. It is clear and it's faily hot today but the winds are light and variable so they're not gusting like they were a week ago." Said Fire Information officer Ebony Griffin.

The Torkelson Lake fire northeast of Smithers remains 15- percent contained but an evacuation order has been lifted for that fire as well.

Evacuation orders are also being partly lifted for areas of the Nadina, Tezzeron, and Cheslatta Lake fires. The majority of lifted evacuation area was land affected by the 45- thousand hectare Verdun Mountain fire.

"That wildfire was hanging on pretty tightly to the boundries of their alerts and orders. Once we got through that major wind event, we got a little bit of precipitation and cooler tempartures, they started to relax their orders a little bit." Said Bill Miller, the chair of the regional district of Bulkley- Nechako.

The Verdun fire is currently 25- percent contained and while suppression efforts have taken a big step forward today, numerous hotspots are continuing to pose problems.

"The fields are still very dry and and there are still very active pockets so even though some of the fire is calming down, there are areas that are still very much active." Griffin said.

With over 5 evacuation orders being ammending in the northwest-- officials are warning people to return home with caution.

"One of the big concerns are trees being burnt and stuff like that, or trees that are precariously perched and ready to fall down. Before using your water make sure to flush your system to get rid of any stagment water or ash." Miller continued.

174 firefighters, and 58 peices of heavy equipment are currently battling the Verdun fire located 9 km southwest of Grassy Plains.

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