People can return to their tents and shacks at Anita Place Tent City in Maple Ridge following the lifting of the evacuation order Monday, according to the Office of the Fire Commissioner.
The order was rescinded at 11 a.m. Monday.
A City of Maple Ridge spokesperson said Tuesday it’s not yet known how many will be returning to the tent city. That number will be confirmed once former residents return and reclaim their tents or structures.
The provincial fire commissioner issued the evacuation order on March 1 after three fires and explosions at the camp on 223rd Street during the last week of February. No one was injured in those incidents.
Tent city residents were sent to the former temporary emergency shelter on Lougheed Highway while the evacuation order was enforced.
According to the city on March 3, more than 130 propane tanks, along with two cans of gasoline were removed from the site during the evacuation order and previous safety inspections, Feb. 23-24.
The repopulation of the camp, however, is being disputed. Pivot Legal Society said the city is only allowing residents who were verified during the Feb. 23-24 inspections back into the camp.
Pivot claims many residents were unable to be verified during that process, leading to a “gross undercounting of residents.”
Mayor Michael Morden said Monday, in a news release, that a plan is in place for the camp and follows the Feb. 8 Supreme Court order regarding safety measures to be taken.
“We have a plan in place to allow verified occupants of the site to return. We will continue to explore ways to ensure that social support systems are in place to see the camp come to an end,” Morden said.
The camp will have 24-hour security monitoring.
Meanwhile, B.C. Housing is in the process of restoring power to the washroom and shower facility and installing a heating system for the warming tent at the camp.
Propane, gasoline, aerosol paint cans and other ignition sources or accelerants will not be allowed on-site, the city said.
Construction materials will not be allowed, either.
Pivot is also waiting to hear about its appeal of the Supreme Court order, which allowed Maple Ridge to require people to be identified and registered as verified residents of the camp, and gave police the ability to remove people from it and make arrests.