One of the wildfires of greatest concern for local homes has been reduced in danger.
The evacuation order for the Townsend Creek area about 35 kilometres southwest of Quesnel, directly west of Kersley, has been downgraded to an evacuation alert, which means residents can go home, although with cautions.
“Pursuant to the BC Emergency Program Act, the evacuation order issued on July 9, 2023, at 1:45 p.m. for the Townsend Creek Area is being rescinded and replaced by the following Townsend Creek Area Alert #2 by the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC),” said a Cariboo Regional District statement issued Monday afternoon.
“Effective immediately residents are allowed to return to the area. In an alert area, you must remain prepared to evacuate your premises or property should it be required. Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation; however, you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.”
There are three seprate but connected fire notifications in effect for the same general area: one for the Baker Creek neighbourhood and two for different Townsend Creek neighbourhoods. This latest update means that all three of those affected areas are under evacuation alert. There are no evacuation orders in that vicinity anymore.
The suggested route back into the affected area: Lavington Road
CRD Info For Residents Returning
More information about re-entering the area following an evacuation area can be found in the Guide to Re-Entry After An Evacuation.
Please watch for livestock and wildlife on roads.
Residents should be aware that there may be danger trees in wildfire affected areas. Danger trees on Crown Land will be dealt with by the BC Wildfire Service danger tree fallers. Homeowners and private landowners are recommended to work with an insurance agency to have an assessment done by a qualified arborist.
Wildfires remain active and firefighting activities continue in the area. It is important for residents to stay out of active wildfire areas. Interfering in an active fire area will result in crews ceasing ground and air operations potentially endangering nearby properties.
Since these areas remain 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.
Residents returning to the area are encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders: cariboord.ca/CRDEmergsignup
For Cariboo Regional District information, please visit cariboord.ca/EOC or facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations or @CaribooRD or call the CRD’s emergency information line at 1-866-759-4977 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily).