August 11, 2020: Red Lake Fire #49 Update 1

THUNDER BAY – It has been a long night for people evacuating from Red Lake due to Red Lake Fire #49. Getting to Ear Falls from Red Lake was taking upwards of three hours for some residents. That is usually a forty-minute drive.

Many Red Lake Residents are headed to Dryden for the evacuation. Residents were asked to register in Ear Falls. Ear Falls businesses were open overnight to help facilitate Red Lake evacuation efforts.

The Dryden Memorial Arena is acting as a reception centre for the Red Lake and area evacuees.

The fire has shut down the usual air travel to Red Lake Airport. North Star Air has closed their Red Lake operations, and Wasaya Airways says, “All Wasaya flights In and out of Red Lake are canceled for August 11th including freight runs.”

As of Monday afternoon, Red Lake 49 was located approximately one kilometer northeast of Madsen. The five-hectare fire (not under control) was receiving aerial suppression from waterbombers.

The fire has increased to 420 hectares over the past 18 hours. When the Wildfire Update was released on Monday, the fire was at 5 hectares.

There were five waterbombers fighting the fire yesterday afternoon.

Chris Marchand from MNRF says that wind conditions today may hamper fire fighting efforts with waterbombers today due to gusty winds in the forecast. Those winds could also help the fire grow.

Last night, Red Lake moved to evacuate residents

August 10, 2020 – The Municipality of Red Lake is advising that all residents must evacuate the Municipality as soon as possible and we ask that you leave this evening if you can. All vulnerable populations are asked to leave the community immediately. If you are unable to leave tonight, we are coordinating air transportation with Emergency Management Ontario (EMO).

The forest fire in the area has now posed a risk for all community members, particularly those who are vulnerable. Vulnerable individuals include the following:

• Those who do not have means of transportation
• Those who do not have supports
• Those with breathing difficulties
• Those who have accessibility concerns

We will assist all those who consider themselves to be vulnerable – please call 807-727-7106 or email municipality@redlake.ca. We are in the process of arranging overnight accommodations and will direct you accordingly.

All other residents are asked to stop in at the Township of Ear Falls Office on your way through Ear Falls or you can register at the Dryden Arena/Recreation Centre. Temporary shelter is available for those in need at the Dryden Arena/Recreation Centre. It is important that you register to ensure we can assist you while you are out of the community.

Red Lake Weather Update

Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 26. UV index 7 or high.

Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming clear this evening. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 12.

Accommodations Update

Minister Greg Rickford
Minister Greg Rickford

Kenora MPP Greg Rickford states, “As of last night, Red Lake is under a mandatory evacuation due to forest fires in the region. All residents have been asked to leave the community immediately.

“Businesses with vacancies for Red Lake Fire Evacuees that would like to register with the City of Dryden, please email edodryden@gmail.com. For quicker response times, please make the subject line of your email: “Accom Available at “business name” and include your contact information in the body of the email.

“We are doing everything we can and are monitoring the situation closely. We are committed to keeping the public, firefighters & emergency responders safe while protecting private property.

“This is a challenging time for the people of Northwestern Ontario and we will get through this by supporting each other. Thank you to all the people who have stepped in to support the Red Lake community.

“It is critical we remember that COVID-19 restrictions are still in place and the fight against the pandemic is not over. We will all need to stay vigilant and follow health and safety advice during these unprecedented times.”

While Dryden and Ear Falls are offering shelter for evacuees, there is also an offer from the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Thunder Bay – Red Lake Residents, we are very saddened to hear of the evacuation orders and would be pleased to offer you an Evacuation Rate, Please contact 807-346-9000 to talk to an associate to find out more details,

Each of our Guest rooms offers a kitchen, with a two stovetop burner, full-size fridge, microwave, dishwasher, and all the pots/pans/dishes you would need to cook and eat with!