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Communities prepare for eventual return of evacuees

The District of 100 Mile House, the City of Williams Lake, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and First Nations are combining their efforts to work towards the safe return home for residents currently on evacuation order.

With the large number of displaced residents, a coordinated effort to establish priority services is critical to sustain a large population returning to the region.

Local and First Nation governments have been collaborating with a number of support agencies such as the Red Cross, RCMP, Salvation Army, BC SPCA, BC Hydro, Telus and many others to ensure that communities throughout the south Cariboo are supported as their residents return.

100 Mile House is the community closest to having such services in place. Plans are well underway to establish emergency healthcare, emergency 911 service, power, food services, waste management services and security of adjacent areas which may still be under evacuation order. The City of Williams Lake`s  preparations are not far behind.

While these efforts are underway, there is still an active evacuation order in effect with only pre-identified individuals permitted to access the area. These individuals are arriving for the purpose of restoring essential services and will have restricted movement permitted within the area. They will not be bringing family members in with them unless they are essential to the restoration of services. Security will be in place to enforce the evacuation order.

Those individuals returning to the area are not able to provide comment to friends, family and neighbours on the status of properties. Assessments of properties are currently underway and the Cariboo Regional District and local authorities are reaching out to any residents with impacted structures. There are no impacted structures within the boundaries of the District of 100 Mile House or the City of Williams Lake.

It is not yet possible to confirm when residents can return until the restoration of essential services has been established. Further, re-entry is dependent on fire activity in the surrounding area that remains active as resident safety is paramount. Our priority is to return residents to the area as soon as possible but only when it is safe to do so.

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