Residents of a small portion of a B.C. village devastated by fire were given the green light to return on Saturday, as the province received 100 Mexican firefighters to help tackle wildfires around B.C.
They joined the estimated 3,320 firefighters and other crew, including 94 out-of-province personnel, already battling the wildfires.
The Canadian Forces confirmed that 160 of a planned 350 troops had arrived in Vernon on Friday to begin assisting with firefighting efforts.
The province saw minimal fire growth overnight, and the number of active fires across B.C. fell to 261 from 275 on Friday, and around 300 earlier in the week.
About 5,000 people remained on evacuation orders.
On Saturday, emergency officials announced that for the Village of Lytton, they would downgrade an evacuation order for a small section on the southeastern edge to an evacuation alert.
The downgrade applies only to properties in Ponderosa Heights and on Loring way, along with the Lytton Fire Base. The remainder of the village, which was decimated by fire, remains off-limits.
Additional evacuation orders issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District were unaffected, and the Lytton Creek Wildfire remained active at more than 24,000 hectares.
On Saturday, the Osoyoos Indian Band also downgraded part of an evacuation order to an evacuation alert for several properties related to the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire.
However the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary expanded an evacuation order for Electoral Area E to include 126 new properties in and around the Baldy Mountain neighbourhood.
That fire tripled in size on Friday to 6,800 hectares and has destroyed at least one home.
The Brenda Creek Wildfire, just south of the Okanagan Connector and about 40 kilometres from West Kelowna, remained active and mapped at about 662 hectares.
Crews have deployed sprinklers to protect a key electrical transmission line serving about 60,000 people in the area, and 43 homes in Electoral Area H have been ordered evacuated.
Helicopter crews were scheduled to bucket the fire on Saturday, and winds were forecast to be calmer.
Residents of the community of Seymour Arm, east and south of Seymour Arm Bay Road, also remained under an evacuation order due to the Hunakwa Lake Fire, which was burning about nine kilometres south of the community.
It was last mapped at about 1,100 hectares, but officials said it had likely grown and there was no accurate, updated mapping.
Two wildfires in the Lower Arrow Lake area of the Central Kootenay region also continue to threaten homes.
The Michaud Creek fire, about 20 kilometres south of Edgewood, was last mapped at about 4,600 hectares.
It’s forced the evacuation of 356 properties in the communities of Edgewood and Needles north to Whatshan Lake.
In the community of Fauquier, 156 properties remain under an evacuation order for the Octopus Creek fire, but officials say the blaze’s growth towards the town has slowed amid reduced winds.