British Columbia says it will end the provincial state of emergency over wildfires as of midnight Thursday.
Firefighting efforts and cooler temperatures have helped many British Columbians evacuated return to their homes in recent days, according to B.C.'s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Bowinn Ma.
"While the provincial state of emergency is no longer required, the wildfire season is not over," Ma said in a news release shortly before 4 p.m. PT Thursday afternoon.
The province imposed a state of emergency on Aug. 18 as thousands of residents were forced out of their homes by wildfires.
At the peak of the wildfires' threat last month, more than 35,000 people were evacuated from their homes and about as many were under evacuation alerts, according to the province.
On Thursday, there were approximately 370 properties on evacuation order and 18,000 on alert, with the majority of evacuated properties in West Kelowna.
The Central Okanagan Regional District says 350 properties are still on evacuation orders and 5,000 are on alert, as the McDougall Creek wildfire continues to burn out of control nearly a month after it was reported.
About half of the 400 structures or homes that were destroyed in B.C.'s wildfires this summer were lost in the Kelowna area.
There are almost 400 fires are still burning in the province, in what has been a record season for area burned, and about 160 of those fires remain out of control.