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B.C. wildfires: Residents of 100 Mile House area allowed back home

Inside the 100 Mile House evacuation zone.
Inside the 100 Mile House evacuation zone. Credit: Paul Carey

More residents in the B.C. interior are being allowed back home after being evacuated due to the ongoing wildfires.

Evacuation orders for the communities of 100 Mile House, 103 Mile House, 105 Mile House, 108 Mile Ranch, and the western Lac La Hache area have been downgraded to an alert.

Residents were told they could return home as of 2 p.m. Saturday, but that they may be asked to leave again if the situation changes.

“We are opening up the doors and welcoming you back,” 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall said during a conference call with Al Richmond of the Cariboo Regional District.

“[Residents] will be returning to an area that was profoundly impacted by wildfire,” Campsall added.

WATCH: Some B.C. wildfire evacuees can begin returning home. Neetu Garcha reports.

Some B.C. wildfire evacuees can begin returning home
Some B.C. wildfire evacuees can begin returning home

Richmond said evacuees who are staying north of Williams Lake can head down Highway 16 to Highway 5, then up the road on Highway 24 at Little Fort to get into 100 Mile House. Evacuees housed south can take Highway 97 through Cache Creek and up to the area.

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READ MORE: Live coverage of the B.C. wildfires

The fire burning near the Gustafsen North Forest Service Road, west of 100 Mile House, is now 90 per cent contained. It is still estimated to be 5,700 hectares in size.

Evacuation orders are still in place from McKinley Road in Lac La Hache, north up towards Williams Lake.

Crews continue to work hard day and night along the southwest flank of the Gustafsen fire and the Highway 97 corridor. Meanwhile, structural fire crews and the RCMP continue to patrol areas of 100 Mile House, 103, 108 and surrounding areas.

The focus is now on extinguishing hot spots, as well as pushing the guard lines further into the fire perimeter to reinforce the guards.

With files from Jon Azpiri, Jesse Ferreras and Amy Judd