Thousands evacuated from northeastern Manitoba as wildfire nears communities - APTN NewsAPTN News

Thousands evacuated from northeastern Manitoba as wildfire nears communities



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Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais
APTN National News
People from the Island Lake region in northeastern Manitoba are being evacuated by the thousands.

“Our most immediate concern right now is the fire burning near Wasagamack because it is physically threatening the community,” said Rochelle Squires, minister of Sustainable Development. “This mornings assessment indicates that (the) fire is approximately 77,000 hectares and approximately one kilometer from the nearest home.”

Elders and young children were the first to leave.

Some from nearby Garden Hill and St. Therese Point have also had to leave.

“More than 3,700 people have been forced from their homes. The Red Cross is leading this evacuation,” said Squires.

Heavy smoke filled the air late Tuesday afternoon forcing leadership to call on the province to help get people to safety.

High temperatures, along with low humidity and high wings, have fueled the wildfire.

Five small planes are working around the clock to fly people out.

“Thirty-seven hundred people is a lot of people to move,” said Shawn Feely of the Red Cross. “We want to it as safely and quickly as possible that is why we are searching for more aircraft.”

Hotels are filling up fast and the Red Cross is working on a plan to get a shelter to house 2,000 people.

 


srobinson@aptn.ca

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