First Nations Communities in Northern Manitoba Evacuated Due to Wildfire

1,500 more people evacuated due to a wildfire threatening three Manitoba communities.

As First Nations evacuees continue to arrive in Winnipeg after being forced from their homes by wildfires in northeastern Manitoba more spaces are being created to house those displaced.

According to CBC News, close to 3,700 people from Wasagamack, St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill First Nations in the Island Lake area of northeastern Manitoba have been flown out of the region since Tuesday.

Residents from Wasagamack were taken by boat to St. Theresa Point to escape nearby wildfires.

Global News reports, the Red Cross announced on Saturday that 1,500 more wildfire evacuees are headed to Winnipeg and Brandon.

Roughly 900 of the 1,500 are to reach Winnipeg on Saturday. The remaining residents will be evacuated Sunday.

The latest batch of residents fleeing the fire is coming exclusively from Garden Hill as the community deals with heavy smoke.

The RBC Convention Centre and the Winnipeg Soccer North indoor complex have been turned into temporary shelters. Together, the centres hold roughly 1,900, but there are currently more than 5,000 fleeing fires in the province.

Howver, the Canadian Red Cross in Manitoba and Nunavut, said Saturday the organization doesn’t anticipate opening up a third temporary shelter to help the triage centres. Friends and families are taking in some of the evacuees and freeing up some of the space in the shelters.

Hercules aircraft assisted in the evacuation of people on August 31. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces/Facebook

The last group of evacuees were brought in on eight small planes and one Hercules aircraft supplied by the federal government that has been in use since Thursday.

For people in Winnipeg who want to donate or volunteer time to pick up donations can post on the Helping Manitoba forest fire evacuees in Winnipeg & Brandon Facebook page. Organizers of that page are looking for everything from children’s toys to clothing, diapers, baby formula and toiletries.

The province says Manitoba has had around 500 fires so far this season.