Old Fort residents, landslide trespassers risk fines, jail if they enter community

Old Fort residents risk a $10,000 fine or jail time if they’re caught re-entering the community, the Peace River Regional District says.

Full force of the Emergency Program Act will come into effect starting Oct. 12 at 6 a.m. The act gives government control to prohibit movements during declared emergencies.

The regional district says additional cracking and movement on the Old Fort landslide has prompted the notice, and that it will not tolerate entry into the area.

Old Fort residents have been told they may be out of their homes for months after a slow moving landslide began Sept. 30 and forced them to evacuate a week later on Oct. 7.

The landslide has shown no signs of stopping, and residents will be allowed to return only when it's safe, B.C.'s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says.

Nevertheless, some residents were boated in by volunteers on Oct. 10 to gather their belongings while supplies and plumbers were flown in to start winterizing homes.

They did so against a previous orders from the regional district to stay out of the area; residents say police have warned them that they will be arrested if they return.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is identifying an access route into Old Fort for emergency commander vehicles. The equipment is stationed on the Old Fort Road west of the Site C entrance.

The equipment will be parked in the area over the weekend, and work will begin once the geotechnical team determines the area is safe for workers to enter, the regional district says.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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