After more than a month away from home, members of the general public are returning to Fort Smith today.
Essential workers returned to the community last week. But today is the first day the general public has been allowed back in.
An evacuation order for the town was first issued on Aug. 12.
Meanwhile, residents of Hay River have been allowed back in since Saturday. But not all services in that community are back up and running just yet: The pool, recreation centre and community centre are still being used by fire crews.
As South Slave residents return home, the territory’s Emergency Management Organization declared in an update on Friday that repatriation to the North Slave was complete. But it wasn’t immediately clear how many, if any, were still left outside of the territory.
Thirty-four charter flights in total carried 2,275 residents back home to the North Slave this month, not including essential workers, according to the same update. It was not immediately clear how many had returned by vehicle.
Meanwhile, fires continue to burn across the territory: Residents of Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation should expect to see ongoing fire activity on the east side of the river for the foreseeable future.