The last group of people forced to leave their homes last week because of a raging wildfire in northwestern B.C. are finally being allowed to go back.
The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako has rescinded all evacuation orders for those living near the China Nose wildfire, which continues to burn 15 kilometres southeast of Houston, B.C..
However, all of those areas where evacuation orders were in effect remain on an evacuation alert.
The size of the fire has been reduced slightly from 4,000 to 3,700 hectares since it was discovered last Monday.
According to the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch, a controlled burn was carried out successfully on Sunday and there was no significant growth overnight.
However, officials are asking residents who are living near the community located about 300 kilometres west of Prince George, B.C., to remain vigilant because fire behaviour can change at any time.
The closure of Old Man Lake Provincial Park to all recreational uses by B.C. Parks remains in effect.
The Northwest Fire Centre has barred use of recreational areas around the fire — making McKilligan, Swan Lake, Heading Creek, Poisent Creek and Gilmore Lake forest service roads and portions of the Thompson Creek Forest Service Road north of Maxan Lake off limits to anyone without written authorization.
Meanwhile the Chelaslie River wildfire, burning near Entiako Provincial Park since early July, has grown to an estimated 113,876 hectares. Near the end of July, officials closed the park and issued an evacuation order.
There are currently 186 fires burning in B.C., 12 of which are major wildfires.
B.C. has dealt with 500 fires so far this year according to provincial fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek.