The number of people evacuated or on evacuation alert because of the wildfires burning in the Cariboo continues to go down.

Today the Cariboo Regional District partially downgraded an order to an alert for the North Bonaparte Road area.

An evacuation order remains in place however for the areas south of Highway 24 between Watch Lake and Sheridan Lake.

The number of people in the Cariboo still on evacuation order or alert is still just under 13-hundred.

But as CRD Chair Al Richmond explains that is a far cry from where we were a couple of months ago…

“The peak we were somewhere in the neighborhood of people we had upwards of 35,000 plus if you took First Nations people impacted we had about 37,000 that were impacted by various evacuation orders, evacuation alerts. At one time about the 19th of July we were standing with about 19 orders in place and about 12 alerts in place so where we are today down to one order and four alerts and we continue to make improvements in smaller pieces of population home now.”

Richmond says that compares to the one order and four alerts they have right now.

He admits that back in July he wondered if things would ever get back to normal…

“I kept thinking it couldn’t get any worse. So i suppose for us it’s come a long way. We’re just thankful that we’re actually at a point today where we’re beginning to ramp down our Emergency Operations Centre a bit. But yes, i guess at some point in July in particular, when we had Williams Lake and 100 Mile, I wondered if we would ever get back to normal with the number of people being impacted by the fires of the day. So today we’re thankful, looking forward to hopefully in a month or so when we get up in the morning or go to bed at night we’re not thinking about what will the fire situation in the morning, but a ways to go before we get there.”

Despite all of this not a single life was lost due to the wildfires this year.