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VIDEO: Daily wildfire updates come to an end with thousands still on evacuation order

The final daily wildfire news conference got underway at the offices of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, 2,381 people remain on evacuation orders in the area.

With the threat of further property losses diminishing, it's safety concerns that are preventing officials from granting people access to their homes.

"We need to make sure that physically, on the ground, that they're safe," said West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund.

"That the chimney from above isn't going to fall on their house for example."

<who>Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service </who>

He pointed out that thousands have been given the green light to return home over the last 24 hours.

"For some, it's going to be days," he said. "For others, it's going to be weeks."

In the communities along Westside Road where most of the homes were lost, people are being asked for their continued patience.

'We've dealt with this before. It takes time," said North Westside Fire Chief Ross Kotscherofski.

"We're absolutely not looking at a couple of days."

<who>Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service </who>

For Kotcherofski these have been the most trying days of his career, having worked alongside firefighters who lost their homes while fighting to protect those of their neighbours.

"It was very hard and I'm not sure it’s really sunk in for a lot of them," he said. "Because they are still working so hard on the lines today."

For that group, the collective decision to cope with their losses has been 'work therapy'.

"And that’s keeping them distracted," said Chief Kotcherofski.

<who>Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service </who>

As for the ongoing firefight, the BC Wildfire Service has encouraging words.

“I’m very, very optimistic and pleased with the progress that’s been made," said Brian Litke.

"I can’t give a percentage of containment, but we’re very optimistic and we’re close to getting around this fire."

But still, the goals in the forest are fully aligned with those in the neighbourhoods affected by the fire.

“Our priorities continue to be to prevent any further losses and to get people home,” he said.

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