Northern Ontario municipality evacuated due to forest fire

By | August 11, 2020

WINNIPEG — Residents in a Northern Ontario municipality have been told to evacuate due to a forest fire in the area.

“It is the safety of our residents that is our first priority,” said Mayor Fred Mota in a news release.

“We ask that all residents follow this directive to ensure the safety and well-being of all of us.”

The Municipality of Red Lake, located less than 100 kilometres from the Manitoba border, told residents on Monday night to leave as soon as possible, urging those who are vulnerable to leave immediately. Those who are considered vulnerable include: anyone without a means of transportation, anyone who doesn’t have supports, anyone with breathing difficulties, and anyone with accessibility concerns.

The municipality said in a news release it will help anyone considered vulnerable and arrange accommodations. They just need to contact 807-727-7106 or email municipality@redlake.ca.

The municipality said it’s coordinating air transportation with Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) for those who couldn’t leave on Monday.

The municipality asks evacuated residents to stop at the Township of Ear Falls office or the Dryden Memorial Arena in order to register for assistance. The municipality also set up a temporary shelter at the Dryden arena, and is looking to set up more locations in Kenora, Ignace and Fort Frances.

The municipality’s control group is working with the Ontario Provincial Police and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. It is also in contact with the Emergency Management Ontario Provincial Operations Centre to determine how to safely evacuate residents through air transportation. It expects flights to begin on Tuesday, Aug. 11. The municipality will release more details on this at 8 a.m.

The municipality asks residents to check on their neighbours and make sure everyone can get out of the community safely.

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