BREAKING NEWS; Evacuation Order Lifted for City of Williams Lake
Prince George, B.C. – It is news residents of the City of Williams Lake have been waiting for. Those who live in the City of Williams Lake have the green light to go home and they can take highway 97.
In addition to the lifting of the evacuation order for most residents, it has been announced highway 97 is now open in both directions. That means evacuees won’t have to take the long way home.
The evacuation order was put in place on July 15th as wildfires threatened to close highways and trap residents in that community.
In a release issued moments ago, it was announced most, but not all residents can return:
The City of Williams Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band and Cariboo Regional District announced today that residents are now allowed to return to the City of Williams Lake, Sugarcane and surrounding areas in the Cariboo Regional District. Before deciding to return, residents are encouraged to consider that wildfire activity continues in the area, air quality remains poor and the area is still on evacuation alert.
The areas that have been changed from an evacuation order to an evacuation alert include:
- The City of Williams Lake;
- 150 Mile House;
- Fox Mountain;
- Pine Valley; and
- Springhouse (see map at link below for details about all CRD areas surrounding Williams Lake).
Due to ongoing wildfire operations, evacuation orders will remain in place for the following areas:
- areas north and south of Mountain House Road, including Wildwood;
- the Spokin Lake area;
- areas along Soda Creek Road and Frizzi Road;
- Soda Creek First Nation; and
- areas in the Chilcotin.
Residents would be returning to an area that has been profoundly affected by wildfire. Wildfires remain active in the area and firefighting activities continue in the area.
Since the area remains on evacuation alert, residents must be prepared in case the area receives a future evacuation order on short notice. Local governments may not have time to go door to door should a new evacuation order be issued. Information about what to do when on evacuation alert is listed below.
It is also important to note that air quality remains poor as a result of smoke from nearby fire activity. Those with respiratory issues, small children and the elderly should consider this before they choose to return to the area.