Last evacuation alerts lifted in Cariboo and Thompson-Nicola

All clear given and emergency operation centres to shut down

After 76 days of wildfire in the region, there are no evacuation orders or alerts left in both the Thompson-Nicola Regional District or the Cariboo Regional District.

On Sept. 20, both the CRD and the TNRD gave the “all clear” for the remaining alerts that were in place due to danger from the Elephant Hill fire.

The alerts ranged from Horse Lake, south of 100 Mile House to the north, south almost to Highway 1.

‘The Elephant Hill wildfire no longer poses an imminent risk of danger to properties,” said a release by the TNRD.

As a result the TNRD and the CRD will be closing their Emergency Operations Centres. The CRD’s public emergency phone line will also be shut down.

Alerts and evacuation orders have caused residents to be forced out of their homes throughout the Cariboo since the Elephant Hill and Gustafsen fires were sparked on July 7.

As of Sept. 20, the Elephant Hill fire was 85 per cent contained.

“Crews are continuing to make good progress on the fire, this with the cooler weather conditions that we have received has definitely helped with suppression efforts,” said Fire Information Officer Erin Catheral yesterday.

Crews continue to work on patrol and mop up throughout the area and a number of aerial infrared scans have been completed to identify hot spots to action, she says.

While the regional districts have given the all clear, Catheral says that residents can expect to see smoke until the snow flies.

“These smokes will be well within the fire perimeter and well within the black, because they don’t pose any risk to life or property.”

She also warns residents to be aware of danger trees in the area which may be damaged by wildfire and susceptible to winds. On Crown land, she says assessors are on site looking to identify these trees, but the CRD encourages residents to “work with an insurance agency to have an assessment done by a qualified arborist on their private property.”

While the off-road vehicle ban that had been in place over the Cariboo Fire Centre was also rescinded as of noon on Sept. 20., there remains an area restriction in place for Crown land near the fire.


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tara.sprickerhoff@100milefreepress.net

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