Water Bomber Above. Forest Fire Evacuees of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation are the First to Come Home in Northwestern Ontario

Water Bomber Above. Forest Fire Evacuees of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation are the First to Come Home in Northwestern Ontario

This is an update to my two previous blogs:

Ontario reported yesterday that there was a bit of good news regarding the forest fires and evacuations of Northwestern Ontario as follows:

  • the number of active forest fires decreases from 118 (July 24) to 116 (July 26)
  • 153 residents of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation community are the first to come home following the evacuation of 3,591 people from fire-threatened communities
  • presently the forest fires currently pose a low risk to most communities
  • for the next few days, weather forecasts predict conditions that will support firefighting efforts in Northwestern Ontario

The names of the fully evacuated communities are listed here with the names of their host communities in brackets:

  • Cat Lake First Nation (hosts: Kapuskasing, Dryden, Matchewan First Nation),
  • Keewaywin First Nation (host: Greenstone),
  • Koocheching First Nation (host: Dryden),
  • Sandy Lake First Nation (hosts: Sioux Lookout, Greenstone, Moosonee, Ignace, Marathon, Wawa, Thunder Bay, Arthur)

The names of the partially evacuated communities are listed here with the names of their host communities in brackets:

  • Deer Lake First Nation (host: Smiths Falls),
  • Eabametoong First Nation/Fort Hope (host: Greenstone),
  • Kasabonika Lake First Nation,
  • Kingfisher Lake First Nation (host: Ottawa) ,
  • North Spirit Lake First Nation (host: Greenstone),
  • Wawakapewin First Nation (host: Smith Falls)

To locate and reunite family members who may have become separated, the following actions are taken:

  • Ontario is working with host communities to help First Nations leaders locate and reunite family members.
  • The Canadian Red Cross has also set up a central registry to help residents of evacuated communities locate family members.
  • The contact number for the Red Cross registry is: 1-866-356-3645 ext. 236.

Ontario’s record for forest fires is as follows:

  • this fire season is now the third largest fire season for 561,380 hectares burned since record keeping began in 1917
  • highest number of hectares burned was 857,995 in 1923
  •  second highest was 612,436 hectares burned in 1995

Ontario is providing daily updates on Northwestern Ontario’s forest fires and evacuations.

Please click here for an interactive map of the Current Forest Fire Situation in Ontario.

Ontario, Canada: Newsroom

News Release

Update On Northwestern Ontario Forest Fires And Evacuations – July 26

July 26, 2011

The members of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation who were evacuated last week have returned to their community from Dryden and Sioux Lookout.

The 153 residents are the first to come home following the evacuation of 3,591 people from fire-threatened communities. Mishkeegogamang First Nation is accessible by road, which made it easier for members of the community to return to their homes.

While it is hard to predict when all evacuated residents will be able to return to their communities, planning is well underway. We are working with First Nation leadership and our provincial and federal partners to ensure families can return to their homes safely and smoothly, as soon as conditions allow.

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 are required.

With more than 3,400 people still displaced from their homes, keeping families and communities together continues to be a priority. Ontario is working with host communities to help First Nations leaders locate and reunite family members who may have become separated. The Canadian Red Cross has also set up a central registry to help residents of evacuated communities locate family members. The contact number for the Red Cross registry is: 1-866-356-3645 ext. 236.

This is now 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.

Item Daily update
Number of fires active 116
New fires 3
Hectares to date 561,380
Fire personnel engaged Over 2,000
Out-of-province personnel 640
Equipment 15 heavy bombers, 4 light bombers (twin otters), 96 helicopters and other support aircraft
Number of evacuees currently displaced 3,438
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 Community
Cat Lake First Nation Kapuskasing (140), Dryden (115), 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 Sioux Lookout (250), Greenstone (375), Moosonee (121), Ignace (55), Marathon (201), Wawa (110), Thunder Bay (275), Arthur (204)
Wawakapewin First Nation Smiths Falls (9)
Residents Returned Home Mishkeegogamang (153)

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
ontario.ca/safety

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