THUNDER BAY – The forest fire situation in Northwestern Ontario is heating up once again. Warm weather conditions are shifting. Rain is in the forecast, but until then conditions are volatile. Deer Lake, Sandy Lake, Koocheching, Kee-Way-Win, Muskrat Dam and Weagamow can expect to have smoke drifting in from large fires burning in northern Manitoba and Ontario. The smoke will dissipate as the weather changes and rain begins to fall.
The City of Thunder Bay Emergency Operations Control Group convened at 9AM this morning in order to receive an update on the forest fire situation affecting the Northwest region of Ontario, and more specifically Sandy Lake First Nation.
“The Emergency Operations Control Group will continue to monitor the situation and is prepared to provide additional support to our Northern neighbours in their time of need,” states Mayor Hobbs.The City has been working closely with Emergency Management Ontario over the last week and has been monitoring the situation. At the request of Chief Bart Meekis of Sandy Lake First Nation, Emergency Management Ontario has asked Thunder Bay to serve as a host community for 70 residents.
In order to support this effort Mayor Keith Hobbs has signed an emergency declaration for The City of Thunder Bay.
The City has supported similar evacuations over the last few years and is prepared to support additional evacuees if requested. In 2011, Thunder Bay hosted 350 evacuees and served as a transportation hub during the severe forest fire situation.