THUNDER BAY – The Sioux Lookout Fire #35 has grown to almost twice as large as the City of Thunder Bay. Due to continued heavy smoke conditions people are being directed not to return to Mishkeegogamang. This directive is in place to protect the health & safety of community members.
The MNR and Band Council state, “This notice is to advise you and your family that the health risks identified are taken seriously and at the direction of Chief and Council the evacuation order remains in place for Mishkeegogamang First Nation Community Members”.
It is possible that Mother Nature will help out today as rain is forecast over much of Northwestern Ontario. Environment Canada states, “A low pressure system is expected to give heavy rain (50 to 75 mm) to an area extending from Atikokan and Upsala to Lake Nipigon. In the Fort Hope – Webequie rainfall amounts of 20 to 30 mm are expected by tonight. However a slight change in the storm track could bring heavier rainfall amounts into the regions”.
Ministry of Natural Resources staff will be working with community liaisons to provide information related to SLK35. It is requested that people work with the community liaisons in the following locations to obtain up to date information related to the fire situation:
John Kwandibens Temas Nait
Mervin Masakeyash Bob Brisket
Sioux Lookout Pickle Lake
Mary Anne Panacheese Daisy Munroe
Karen Kaminiwash Rachel Neekan
Community members staying in Pickle Lake can talk to Adam Clark, Sioux Lookout Resource Technician at the Pickle Lake municipal office to obtain information related to SLK 35. It is requested that community members do not call the Band Office at this time to access information related to the fire as the phones are needed for emergency purposes.
The MNR has put value protection kits consisting of sprinklers to protect homes and structures in the community. To date all values have not been impacted and all buildings have been protected.
In addition the MNR has declared an Emergency Area Order as of Friday, June 25, 2011 at 1:00 am due to the potential extreme fire behaviour & smoke conditions. This order will remain in effect until it is revoked. Travel has been restricted along Highway 599 and in the general area including water access as part of the Emergency Area Order. An authorized travel permit by the Ministry of Natural Resources will be required for travel within the zone identified in the Emergency Area Order.
This means escorted vehicles through the community only. No one can return until it is safe.