Dozens of South Cariboo Residents Bussing Home
Prince George, B.C. – Three dozen South Cariboo residents evacuated because of a raging wildfire in their community 15 days ago have started the long seven-hour bus journey home.
They left the College of New Caledonia expressing a mixed bag of emotions this afternoon.
The first word that came to mind for Randy Dodd of 100 Mile House when asked what was going through is mind was “happiness.”
“My dad is still in Canim Lake and I’ve only had contact with him twice since I’ve been here. I’ve been trying to find a way to get home. My girlfriend has been in Kamloops,” he said.
“I was at CNC the first four days then I moved to the Legion – they’re awesome people down there. The generosity of this city – I’ve had perfect strangers come up to me and give me $20 just for smokes. I had no underwear, no nothing. People helping me out where the Red Cross hasn’t helped me at all.”
Kelly James of 100 Mile House said he was happy to be heading home but also noted he felt “a little bit restless” as well.
“Because of the long bus ride and then when we get back we might have to throw our meat away. I hope my house is still there.”
James Leboe of 100 Mile House has been staying with family in Prince George and said he felt “not too bad” about going home noting he was concerned about the air quality among other things.
“I hope it’s not too smoky at home. I’m homeless at the moment. I live in a tent. I work for 100 Mile House Wood Products but I can’t get a hold of my boss so I don’t know what’s happening with that.”
The thirty-six people who boarded today’s buses took 13 pets with them. The City of Prince George doesn’t know now how many South Cariboo residents with cars left once the evacuation order was lifted on Saturday.
And though today was a happy one for some, there are still thousands of evacuated residents from the central Cariboo – including Williams Lake – who remain in Prince George.
No word yet on when they will be allowed to go home.