Residents in southeastern B.C. to return home as wildfire conditions ease

Wildfire officials reported 135 fires around the province on Monday

Conditions have eased around a wildfire sparked nearly two weeks ago in southeastern British Columbia, prompting the Regional District of Central Kootenay to rescind evacuation orders and alerts.

Officials say residents would be allowed to return early Tuesday evening to nearly 40 properties that were evacuated Aug. 12 as an aggressive wildfire flared 20 kilometres southwest of Salmo.

The fire closed Highway 6 leading to the Canada-U.S. border crossing at Nelway, and the regional district says both the highway and the border crossing were also scheduled to reopen Tuesday evening.

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The B.C. Wildfire Service website shows the blaze had scorched about four square kilometres of bush and was 50%-contained.

Wildfire officials reported 135 fires around B.C. on Monday and Wildfire Service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek said calmer and cooler conditions helped firefighters.

There was concern about an approaching storm forecast to bring gusty winds and lightning to the central Interior by Thursday, challenging crews trying to contain a nearly 4,700-square-kilometre wildfire that formed last week when 19 smaller fires grew together west of Quesnel.

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Transcontinental Media G.P.