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Fort Nelson, B.C., evacuees heading home after being forced to flee wildfires

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FORT NELSON, B.C. — Residents in Fort Nelson are allowed to return home today after being evacuated from the community for more than two weeks due to wildfires.

The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the Fort Nelson First Nation jointly rescinded their evacuation orders at 8 a.m., lifting roadblocks and clearing the way for people to go home.

An evacuation alert, requiring people to be ready to leave at short notice, is now in place.

About 4,700 residents were forced to leave their homes in Fort Nelson on May 10, when strong winds pushed the Parker Lake wildfire within a few kilometres of the town.

The fire destroyed four homes and damaged six other properties in the area.

Crews are also fighting the Patry Creek fire about 25 kilometres north of town, which is a holdover fire that was initially ignited by lightning in July 2023.

The regional municipality’s mayor, Rob Fraser, has asked residents to be patient as they navigate what’s expected to be heavy traffic on the highway between Fort Nelson and Fort St. John, 380 km to the south, where many of the evacuees have been staying.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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