Evacuated villagers unlikely to be allowed home by Sunday

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Residents of Stikli village in western Latvia, where a large forest fire and the smoke from the fire forced local authorities to evacuate them from their homes will most likely not be able to return by Sunday, Ventspils Regional Council chairman Aivars Mucenieks told LETA July 20. 

He said that some of the village's residents have been accommodated in a neighboring village, while others have found other forms of accommodation. All of the residents are also ensured with meals.

Mucenieks said that it is too early to say when the residents could return to their homes, and added it is unlikely they will be able to return Friday and Saturday as firefighters have not yet been able to localize the fire and smoke from the fire remains considerable.

As reported, local residents of the small village of Stikli in the western Latvian county of Puze were evacuated earlier this week due to a major forest fire that has broken out in the nearby county of Valdgale in Talsi region.

While checking the situation in Stikli, representatives of the State Fire and Rescue Service, the Talsi Municipal Police, Home Guard, the State Forest Service and the State Police, as well as the chairman of the Talsi regional council, found that the wind was blowing smoke from the fire into the village. It was decided that first it was necessary to evacuate a local special boarding school.

Fifty of the 120 residents of Stikli village refused to leave their homes while 70 agreed to evacuate, the Fire and Rescue Service’s spokeswoman said.

The Fire and Rescue Service has called on local residents to obey the emergency services’ instructions and evacuate if necessary.

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