Andrea DeMeer An RCMP officer checks a resident’s documentation Saturday morning, before allowing the vehicle to enter the evacuation alert zone on Highway 5A.

WELCOME HOME

“This is the happiest day in more than two weeks”

If you could see optimism, the way you can see smoke, residents of Princeton and area could watch it settle today over their community.

Saturday morning nearly all of the 303 families on evacuation order were allowed to return to their homes along Highway 5A and in Missezula Lake.

“This is the happiest day in more than two weeks,” said Mayor Frank Armitage, outside the Riverside Evacuation Centre where displaced homeowners were checking in so they could check out.

Highway 5A remains closed at Summers Creek Road, although residents of the area – which has been downgraded to evacuation alert – are allowed back to their properties with the proper documentation from the regional district.

Many of them have been living in local motels for more than two weeks, and some have relied on vouchers and donations to meet their basic needs.

An RCMP officer is currently stationed near the alert zone to ensure only residents are allowed through.

At about 10:30 am a line up of cars snaked along the highway, but the drivers and passengers were smiling and waving as they waited to be cleared for entrance.

According to a recent news release from the RDOS, Highway 5A is expected to be reopened at 10 am on Monday July 24, pending no change to wildfire conditions over the weekend.

Seventeen homes along the southern part of Summers Creek Road remain under evacuation order, the release stated, and 587 homes in total are under evacuation alert.

While residents of Missezula Lake can return to their properties, the main access to that 199-home community – Summers Creek Road – is closed and the town must be reached via logging roads.

Just Posted

Sex assaults on stepdaughters gets four years

Assaults on the girls, 9 and 12, spanned over months from summer to November last year

Sentencing turns to trial, as guilty plea struck

Kevin Simons denied having possession of a knife during a break-and-enter last August

Greyhound announces rural fund plan

Greyhound is lobbying the B.C. government to subsidize rural bus routes

Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

Without Thomas Szajko’s testimony, alleged shooter Afshin Ighani could get off on that charge

Update: Dog inside stolen vehicle in Oliver reunited with owner

A black Honda CRV was stolen from the Oliver Chevron early Sunday morning

Cover With Kindness clothing drive a success

Penticton gives back to support those in need with clothing, blankets

Liberal Hogg wins South Surrey-White Rock byelection over Conservative Findlay

B.C. riding to be represented by non-conservative for first time in decades

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Most Read