June 24, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
The wildfire program of Manitoba Sustainable Development (MSD) said on Thursday that evacuation orders have been issued by the communities of Easterville and Chemawawin Cree Nation, 450 kilometres north of Winnipeg, due to smoke and threats from fires that have moved to within half a kilometre of the community.
Fire crews are working on three fires in the area, with ground attack, as well as two water bombers, MSD said in a press release. An update from the government of Manitoba on Thursday evening said that nine helicopters, six water bombers and 91 “extra firefighters” were engaged in fire suppression activities.
As of Thursday, up to 2,000 people from Chemawawin Cree Nation will be heading to Winnipeg, while about 70 people from the community of Easterville will be going to The Pas. Support and co-ordination of the Chemawawin Cree Nation evacuation will be handled by the Canadian Red Cross.
The update said that the north half of the province remains relatively dry with “lightning occurring throughout. Lightning continues to start new wildfires throughout the north.”
The size of the fire is estimated at 350 hectares, MSD said in an update on Friday. There were no reports of losses to buildings or infrastructure. Nineteen new wildfires, all caused by lightning, were reported on Thursday in the following areas: Leaf Rapids (nine); Lynn Lake (four); Wabowden (two); Gillam (three); and Oxford House (one).
In Manitoba, a total of 119 wildfires have been recorded to date, less than the average for this date of 236, MSD reported. By Thursday, the wildfires had burned 83,639 hectares.
Please pray for Chemamawin – Easterville Smoke/fire very close Pray also for firefighters Ekosi. Pic courtesy RoseN pic.twitter.com/UoARJXH2A2
— Sheila North – Cree (@TheSheilaNorth) June 23, 2016
— Sheila North – Cree (@TheSheilaNorth) June 24, 2016
Forest fire by Easterville. About an hour away from here.
Photo by Cindy Ferland. pic.twitter.com/IsLinnuTIj
— Dwayne S. Cook (@biggarf) June 23, 2016
— Canada Post (@canadapostcorp) June 24, 2016