Residents of East Kootenay mobile home park allowed to return home after wildfire forced evacuation Thursday

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An aerial image of the Kikomun Creek fire, about 6.5 kilometres northwest of the community of Elko located near the Alberta and U.S. borders, from Thursday afternoon. (B.C. Wildfire Service - image credit)
An aerial image of the Kikomun Creek fire, about 6.5 kilometres northwest of the community of Elko located near the Alberta and U.S. borders, from Thursday afternoon. (B.C. Wildfire Service - image credit)

Dozens of homes in the Galloway area of B.C.'s East Kootenay region were evacuated Thursday afternoon as a wildfire approached a mobile home park, but as of 8:30 p.m., residents were told they could return home.

Loree Duczek, information officer with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), says an estimated 46 homes in the Caithness Mobile Home Park, in the Galloway area were ordered to evacuate at about 3:00 p.m.

"The evacuation order has been lifted and the fire is now classified as being held," Duczek said.

"We would like to extend our thanks to the Emergency Support Services volunteers that were there for the residents."

The Kikomun Creek fire, about 6.5 kilometres northwest of the community of Elko located near the Alberta and U.S. borders, is currently an estimated 1.1 hectares in size, according to the RDEK , and it's not expect to grow based on current conditions in the area.

Local fire services and B.C. Wildfire crews remain on the scene, including a helicopter "bucketing" the fire, and an air tanker using retardant to contain the fire.

"The members of our South Country Fire Departments and the B.C. Wildfire Service crews, who've responded by ground and air today, hit this fire hard and have done an extraordinary job in controlling this situation. We are so thankful for their tireless work," Duczek said.

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, the fire is suspected to be human caused.

Anyone placed under an evacuation order must leave the area immediately.

Evacuation centres have been set up throughout the province to assist anyone evacuating from a community under threat from a wildfire. To find the centre closest to you, visit the Emergency Management BC website.

Evacuees are encouraged to register with Emergency Support Services online, whether or not they access services at an evacuation centre.

Those looking for loved ones can contact the Canadian Red Cross for family reunification services at 1-800-863-6582.

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