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Evacuees Returning Home – EMO Update

UPDATE ON NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO FOREST FIRES AND EVACUATIONS

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Ontario has begun helping almost 400 residents return to their homes in Eabametoong/Fort Hope and Sandy Lake, using five planes with 13 flights. About 100 Sandy Lake residents returning will be preparing the community to welcome the remainder of their residents over the next few days.

Two additional aircraft are expected to be available tomorrow to support the repatriation of evacuated residents. As of this morning – 3,438 residents remained in host communities.

In addition, the Chief of Sandy Lake moved more than 200 Sandy Lake residents from Marathon, with 75 residents going to Thunder Bay and 126 residents going to the Sioux Lookout region.

The planning for the return of the rest of the evacuated residents to their communities continues in collaboration with the First Nations leadership and our federal partners to ensure families can return to their homes safely, as soon as conditions allow.

Fire restrictions were lifted in zones 1, 2 and 3 yesterday and although the fires currently pose a low risk to most communities, we are constantly assessing the situation with First Nations Leadership. All necessary resources are available and on standby should conditions change and further evacuations be required.

Manitouwadge Ontario never saw evacuees arrive but the community did well in preparing for the guests with the help of the Canadian Red Cross and local volunteers. Photo OntarioNewsNorth.com

A comprehensive fire mapping has been conducted and the number of hectares burned down has been adjusted to 541,883. This is the third largest fire season for hectares burned since record keeping began in 1917. The highest number of hectares burned was 1923, with 857,995. The second highest was 1995, with 612,436 hectares burned.

Fire fighting efforts continue across northwestern Ontario, with a focus on protecting human health and safety.

For the next few days, weather forecasts predict conditions that will support our firefighting efforts.

Quick Facts

  • Number of fires active – 114
  • New fires – 6
  • Hectares to date – 541,883
  • Fire personnel engaged – Over 2,000
  • Out-of-province personnel – 640
  • Equipment – 15 heavy bombers, 4 light bombers (twin otters), 97 helicopters and other support aircraft
  • Repatriation aircraft – 5
  • Number of confirmed evacuees to date3,438

Communities fully evacuated

  • Cat Lake First Nation
  • Keewaywin First Nation
  • Koocheching First Nation
  • Sandy Lake First Nation

Communities partially evacuated

  • Deer Lake First Nation
  • Eabametoong First Nation/Fort Hope
  • Kasabonika Lake First Nation
  • Kingfisher Lake First Nation
  • North Spirit Lake First Nation
  • Wawakapewin First Nation

Evacuated community – host (evacuees received)

  • Cat Lake First Nation– Dryden (115), Kapusaksing (140), Matchewan First Nation (108)
  • Deer Lake First Nation – Smiths Falls (520)
  • Eabametoong First Nation/Fort Hope – Greenstone (281)
  • Keewaywin First Nation – Greenstone (182)
  • Kingfisher Lake First Nation – Ottawa (272)
  • Koocheching First Nation – Dryden (20)
  • North Spirit Lake First Nation – Greenstone (200)
  • Sandy Lake First Nation – Arthur (204), Greenstone (375),Ignace (55), Marathon (201), Moosonee (121), Sioux Lookout (376), Thunder Bay (350),Wawa (110)
  • Wawakapewin First Nation – Smiths Falls (9)

Residents Returned Home

  • Mishkeegogamang (153)

Projected number of residents being returned today (381 total)

  • Eabametoong/Fort Hope (281)
  • Sandy Lake (100)
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