90 Home Owners Defy Evacuation Order in Williams Lake
Williams Lake, B.C. – Though thousands of Williams Lake residents streamed out of town following Saturday night’s mandatory evacuation order due to the worsening wildfire situation, 250News has learned not all residents in the town of roughly 11,000 people complied with that order.
“Apparently from the records that we have anyway, there was only 90 homes that said they were refusing to leave,” Mayor Walt Cobb told 250News this morning. “So, out of our community that’s pretty good. Those are legitimate people, those aren’t the people that are going to go breaking and entering and that kind of stuff. These are local residents, so that’s not too bad I don’t think.”
However, he admitted it does present potential challenges should the fire situation worsen.
“If it gets to a really serious situation where the RCMP and what not have to leave – those front-line workers would have to go bang on those doors and say ‘hey guys, we’re all getting out of here. Get in my cop car and we’re going.’ That’s the unfortunate part because we’re putting those people at risk now if it happens. I hope it doesn’t get to that.”
As for where the wildfire threat stands this morning – Cobb says not much has changed since last night.
“No, it hasn’t. The wind wasn’t what it was supposed to be last night and apparently the fires only moved about a foot. So, that’ll give the firefighters an opportunity to get out there and put up some more fire guards.”
He also had the following message for evacuated residents wanting to return home as soon as possible.
“Unfortunately, that can’t happen yet. We’re in the process of if the fires get under control, figuring out what that return will look like yet but we’re not there yet,” said Cobb.
“So, just be patient. There’s a good bunch of people that are advising us. We will let you know just as soon as possible when you can come home, because I want you all home.”