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October 27, 2017 4:22 pm

Order Lifted for Some, but Danger Remains

Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 1:47 PM

Prince George, B.C. – As residents of the City of Williams Lake  head home, Minister of Public Safety,  Mike Farnworth stresses there is still a threat, and those residents must be prepared to leave the area at a moments notice.

Minister Farnworth says while pleased  to hear the  announcement  that some can return home, the  danger remains “We urge continued  caution.  we all understand that lives were disrupted in Williams Lake,  and we understand the desire to get home and get back to your day to day routine and some semblance of normalcy back, but our first priority and foremost interest, must be public safety, so residents  should use an abundance of caution as they determine their  unique needs before rushing home.”

Not all areas  are clear for re-entry, so Farnworth  urges all evacuees to be clear on which  areas  are  open for re-entry and which  remain closed.

He says residents must also be prepared in  the event an evacuation order is issued again.

Farnworth   doesn’t believe the  lifting of the evacuation order for  some areas of Williams Lake was premature “The decision on the lifting  of the evacuation order is based on the latest information  that we have  from the fire experts and emergency management BC on the ground.  Decisions are reviewed twice a day  in terms of the conditions.  We work with the RCMP and the community on  when to lift an order and it is  always done with public safety being paramount.  That is why it  was stressed clear, that  part of the area is being safe enough  to lift the evacuation order, but other areas continue to remain under the evacuation order.”

RCMP Staff Sergeant Annie Linteau says residents who are returning can fully expect to be greeted by checkpoints at the major entry points to Williams Lake.  She also  says  those areas  that remain under evacuation will remain closed and no entry  will be permitted to those areas.

Minister Farnworth   encourages all residents to register  with the Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Alert system so they can be contacted by text, phone call or email  should  the  situation  call for another evacuation.

“There is still cause for concern” says BC Wildfire Chief Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek “There are still  active fires out there,  particularly in the Chilcotin area and the air quality is  sub par in most areas.”

There continues to be the potential for lightning  across the province, says Skrepnek,  and there  is more wind in the forecast “Moderate to strong winds, potentially some gusts in the 40 kilometer per hour range are expected in many of the areas where we are already responding to fires.”

“We want residents to be very cognizant of the fact there still are,  multiple, large, uncontained  fires burning throughout the Cariboo region” says Skrepnek ” I think the fact the evacuation alert remains in place  speaks to that real  clear and present danger that is still a factor in many areas of the Cariboo and that people  should still be prepared to leave.”



so if people choose to stay here in PG are they still going to receive support until it is 100% clear there is no danger, or are they forced to go home?

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