Officials say the number of active wildfires is decreasing in BC, but there are still 15 fires posing a threat to various communities.
Kevin Skrepnek from the BC Wildfire Service says one of those is the White Lake fire which is 12-thousand hectares and ten percent contained.
“This is the fire that is posing the most potential threat to Williams Lake right now. It’s currently about 5 to 7 km’s northwest of the city still. It’s certainly not a direct threat to the city at this moment,” Skrepnek told a media conference.
Skrepnek says the Hanceville complex of fires in the Chilcotin is BC’s largest fire at 98,000 hectares.
Wildwood east of Williams Lake is 13,000 hectares and 20% contained.
The Ashcroft Reserve fire — now called the Elephant Hill fire — is 52,600 hectares and 30% contained.
Skrepnek says there is the possibility of dry lightning or thunderstorms the next couple days in some areas, but rain is also possible Wednesday and Thursday.
About 46,800 people are out of their homes due to the fires, with 155 active fire burning in BC.
That includes nine new fires on Monday.
Photo: Lineup of vehicles waiting to return to Cache Creek (Neetu Garcha-Twitter)
About one thousand of the evacuees — from Cache Creek — will be allowed to go home starting at 3 pm this afternoon.
Robert Turner from Emergency Management BC says it can be an emotional time for returnees.
“This has been a traumatic event for people, for families, and for communities, and we would try to make sure people are aware of the emotional toll the evacuation has taken, and that re-entry can take,” says Turner.
Turner notes while the residents are being allowed home, they will still be on alert and have to be prepared to leave on short notice.
Emergency officials say they are looking at preparing the 100 Mile House area for re-occupancy, possibly by the end of the week.
There have been 675 fires in BC this season, with an estimated 327,000 hectares burned.
Just over 98 million dollars has been spent fighting the fires in BC this season.