More than a month after evacuation orders were first issued due to the McDougall Creek wildfire, all residents can now return home.
Thursday afternoon, Central Okanagan Emergency Operations announced all remaining evacuation orders have been lifted in, except for a small piece of property surrounding 550 Westside Road, near Raymer Bay.
The remaining order does not involve a residence. The EOC says this property remains under an order due to remaining environmental hazards and not because of fire.
Additionally, all evacuation alerts have now been rescinded, except for those on Bear Creek Road, Petterson Road, Dougmac Road and Rose Valley Road, along with properties between 1111 Westside Road S and 539 Westside Road S.
A map showing the remaining order and alerts can be found here.
An area restriction remains in place for much of the wildfire area. A map of the most recent restricted area can be found here.
The downgrading of evacuation orders comes a day after the BC Wildfire Service declared the fire – which damaged or destroyed close to 200 properties during its massive growth back on Aug. 17 and 18 – was finally declared “held."
At the fire's peak, roughly 10,000 properties in the area were evacuated.
This doesn't mean the fire is out though, and crews continue to work on mop up activities, conduct patrols and extinguish hotspots. Crews are also continuing the demobilization of non-essential equipment.
“While holding the fire is an important milestone, there is still much work ahead for crews and partner agencies. Multiple hazards are still present in areas where firefighters are working or where fire damage has occurred,” the BC Wildfire Service says.
“You can expect to see smoke in the perimeter, this is common with large fires and will continue until significant rain or snow. If you see smoke from well within a fire’s perimeter and the area is surrounded by black, burned material, this is typically not a concern.”
Evacuation orders remain in place for eight properties near the Glen Lake wildfire, burning about six kilometres from Peachland.