NEWS

3 Northern Manitoba First Nations Evacuated Over Forest Fires

There are currently 143 fires burning in the area, the grand chief said.

08/30/2017 07:46 EDT | Updated 08/30/2017 07:46 EDT
THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Sheila North Wilson, right, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, speaks to media at a press conference in Winnipeg, Friday, March 18, 2016.

WASAGAMACK, Man. — The Red Cross is working to carry out the evacuation of three northern Manitoba communities threatened by nearby forest fires.

The fire is closest to the Wasagamack First Nation and on Tuesday afternoon the entire community of about 2,000 was ordered out.

A spokesman for the Red Cross tells CTV Winnipeg there is no air strip in the community so residents are heading by boat to St. Theresa Point and flying out from there.

The Red Cross also says another 800 people from St. Theresa Point First Nation and 800 from Garden Hill First Nation will be relocated over health concerns from smoke.

The evacuees are being taken to Winnipeg and Brandon, Man.

The affected communities are part of the province's Island Lake region, located about 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Sheila North Wilson, the grand chief who represents First Nations in northern Manitoba, says there are currently 143 fires burning in the area.

"My thoughts and prayers with all the people in Island Lake," she tweeted on Tuesday. (CTV Winnipeg)

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