2,730 people were evacuated from communities threatened by more than 100 forest fires in Northwestern Ontario.

Yesterday, the evacuees were arriving at Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto from Thunder Bay enroute to host communities across Southern Ontario.

A media centre was being set up at the Lester B. Pearson International to provide information on evacuation operations.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) will be arriving in Thunder Bay and operational by today, Friday, July 22 to:

  • provide medical assessment to evacuees arriving in Thunder Bay,
  • address a range of immediate health needs, and
  • help relieve pressures for local health providers

All people that are in immediate danger have been evacuated.

Currently, the fire fighting operations in Northwestern Ontario involve:

  • 2,000 firefighters and support staff, including about 500 from out of province;
  • 16 water bombers and 85 other aircraft;
  • federal government and the armed forces for responding to Ontario’s requests for assistance in evacuation efforts;
  • provinces and territories have also sent help and resources to Ontario to protect people, homes and to support the evacuation and help contain and extinguish the fires;
  • Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is working with the Canadian Forces, First Nations communities, municipalities and relief organizations to coordinate efforts to fight the fires and help people who have been forced out of their homes;

Daily evacuations are ongoing, as smoke and flying conditions allow, until the situation improves.

Please click here for Ontario’s Canadian Red Cross registration and inquiry bureau for evacuees who wish to inquire about family and relatives.

The telephone number of the Canadian Red Cross (Ontario) is 1 866 356-3645 ext 236.

Please click here to read more about the current forest fire situation in Ontario.

Water Bomber Above. Emergency Medical Assistance Team Aids Forest Fire Evacuation From Northwestern Ontario

Water Bomber Above. Emergency Medical Assistance Team Aids Forest Fire Evacuation From Northwestern Ontario

Ontario, Canada: Newsroom

News Release

Ontario Deploys Mobile Medical Unit To Aid Forest Fire Evacuation

July 21, 2011

2,730 People Evacuated From Northwestern Ontario

The province is sending the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) to support forest fire evacuees in Northwestern Ontario.

EMAT will be on hand to provide medical assessment to evacuees arriving in Thunder Bay, to address a range of immediate health needs, and to help relieve pressures for local health providers.  The team will be operational by tomorrow, Friday, July 22.

All people that are in immediate danger have been evacuated. To date 2,730 people have been moved to safety. Daily evacuations are ongoing, as smoke and flying conditions allow, until the situation improves.

Ontario thanks the federal government and the armed forces for responding to our requests for assistance in evacuation efforts and for working with us. Provinces and territories have also sent help and resources to Ontario to protect people, homes and to support the evacuation and help contain and extinguish the fires.

Hot, dry weather has created the conditions for forest fires in Northern Ontario, with more than 100 currently burning. Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is working with the Canadian Forces, First Nations communities, municipalities and relief organizations to coordinate efforts to fight the fires and help people who have been forced out of their homes.

QUOTES

“A great many provincial and federal resources are being deployed to help fellow Ontarians in their time of need. I am impressed by the cooperative, dedicated efforts of all those involved in the evacuations and who are keeping First Nations residents safe.”

– Jim Bradley
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“Our first priority is protecting people. Suppression action is being taken to protect Ontarians and our communities on a priority basis. This is an extremely difficult situation and is affecting the lives of many Ontarians. It is not an easy situation for anyone affected by the fires or for firefighters and other personnel working to coordinate the evacuations and extinguish fires.”

– Linda Jeffrey
Minister of Natural Resources

“Our thoughts are with the evacuees facing this challenging time. We are proud that the Emergency Medical Assistance Team will work with the community and local health care providers to support health care services to evacuees.”

– Deb Matthews
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

QUICK FACTS

  • There are 2,000 firefighters and support staff currently involved in fire fighting efforts, including about 500 from out of province.
  • There are 16 water bombers and 85 other aircraft involved in the fire fighting operations.
  • The EMAT deployment is being supported by the City of Toronto’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) unit which will support set up and maintenance.

CONTACTS

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

  • Joe Kim
    Minister’s Office
    416-325-8282

Ministry of Natural Resources
ontario.ca/natural-resources

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