Thunder Bay Prepares to Host Pikangikum Fire Evacuees

Canadian Rangers assist residents in evacuation of community
Canadian Rangers assist residents in evacuation of community

THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay is preparing to receive approximately hundreds more people beyond expressed capacity from Pikangikum First Nation after an evacuation order was called for the community due to the threat of a nearby 404-square kilometre forest fire.

The City publicly communicated its capacity last week at 400 evacuees, but more asks continue to come in, in addition to hundreds of self-evacuees here now that the City is not yet providing support for.

“Thunder Bay is here to help, and while we are nearing capacity, we will continue working with our community partners on a coordinated response to ensure safety and security remains the top priority for everyone,” said Norm Gale, Emergency Operations Control Group Chair and City Manager. “That said, some services and supports may be limited or unavailable at this time.”

Led by Chief Amanda Sainnawap, Pikangikum First Nation, with a population of approximately 4,500, began a full evacuation, as a 404-square kilometre forest fire burns about six kilometres southwest of the community. This is the second fire this year that has put the community at risk.

Organizations working together locally to increase capacity and provide support services include the following: City of Thunder Bay, Police, Fire Rescue, Superior North EMS, and the Canadian Red Cross.