Evac order lifted for 47 Princeton properties

Update: 12 p.m.

Residents of 47 properties in Princeton are able to return home as of noon on Tuesday, according to a release from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Those 47 properties are mostly located along the Princeton-Summerland Road, meaning when the evacuation order is lifted for those properties, that road will also be open to traffic.

The news comes after the B.C.Wildfire Service announced that the blaze is considered 60-per-cent contained, up from 50-per-cent contained yesterday.

“There are no changes to other evacuation order or alert areas at this time,” an RDOS release says. “This includes the closure of a portion of Highway 5A north of Princeton.”

Officials with the RDOS are also hosting a public information meeting at 4 p.m. at the Riverside Community Centre at 148 Old Hedley Road in Princeton, followed by a second one at 6 p.m. at the Erris Volunteer Fire Hall at 2254 Princeton-Summerland Road.

Emergency Support Services will remain open at the Riverside Community Centre from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, according to the RDOS release.

That will provide services, including food and shelter for people and animals in evacuation order and alert areas.

More information, including an interactive map where residents can find out if they are in an evacuation order or alert area, can be found at the RDOS website.

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Original: 8:22 a.m.

There is more good news this morning on the fire burning outside Princeton.

The blaze is now 60 per cent contained – up from 50 per cent containment Monday – according to Brent Zbaraschuk, deputy incident team commander and information officer for Wildfire BC.

“We are making very good progress. The weather is cooperating right now,” he said in an interview with The Spotlight.

There are 180 firefighters on scene today, 11 helicopters and 16 pieces of heavy equipment on standby.

“We have had zero injuries on our fire which is probably the biggest positive out of the whole thing,” Zbaraschuk said.