THUNDER BAY – News – The storm Wednesday night passed over the Confederation College Hangar at the Airport. Inside, hundreds of evacuees were gathered awaiting transportation to host communities. The storm which was a brief one, although very powerful did not hamper Thunder Bay’s evacuation efforts.
On Wednesday, about 1,000 people from northern communities were moved through Thunder Bay to other host communities across Ontario and more than 800 are expected today. “Confederation College made it possible for Thunder Bay to be a transportation hub by opening the doors to its Aviation Centre of Excellence,” said Chief John Hay, Fire Rescue. “We can’t thank them enough.”
The 280 residents of Sandy Lake First Nation, who are remaining in Thunder Bay for the duration of the evacuation, have settled in comfortably and expressed appreciation to the people of Thunder Bay for their support. “It’s been good so far – the support has been there,” said Joe Kakegamic, a Band Councillor and community liaison to Thunder Bay’s Emergency Operations Control Group. “Under the circumstances our people are handling it well. Their biggest concern is where their family members are.”
The province is sending the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) to support forest fire evacuees in Northwestern Ontario. EMAT will be on hand to provide medical assessment to evacuees arriving in Thunder Bay, to address a range of immediate health needs, and to help relieve pressures for local health providers. The team will be operational by tomorrow, Friday, July 22. All people that are in immediate danger have been evacuated. To date 2,730 people have been moved to safety. Daily evacuations are ongoing, as smoke and flying conditions allow, until the situation improves.
“Our first priority is protecting people. Suppression action is being taken to protect Ontarians and our communities on a priority basis. This is an extremely difficult situation and is affecting the lives of many Ontarians. It is not an easy situation for anyone affected by the fires or for firefighters and other personnel working to coordinate the evacuations and extinguish fires,” stated Linda Jeffrey Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources.
Provincial MPPs Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle will be touring by air to view the fire situation today.
In Thunder Bay, the North West Local Health Integration Network has been coordinating health services. Today, Ontario’s Emergency Medical Assistance Team is arriving from Toronto including a physician, three nurses and two paramedics. The team will provide additional medical support where required.
The local Emergency Operations Control Group responding to the evacuations includes the City of Thunder Bay, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, Police, Fire Rescue, District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Superior North EMS and Canadian Red Cross.
For public inquiries related to the evacuation, call 211, the community information and referral line.
[ad#Google Adsense 350×250 sidebaradd]