Poplar Hill Evacuating Vulnerable Population to Thunder Bay

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Thunder Bay – NEWS –  Thunder Bay is preparing to receive evacuees from Poplar Hill First Nation today due to the close proximity of the 350 hectare forest fire, RED065, which began on July 5, and is currently burning 10 km west of the community and poses an immediate threat to public safety.

Up to 300 members of the community’s vulnerable population will be arriving in Thunder Bay this afternoon. This is an evolving situation that does require the evacuation of the entire community due to the forest fire threat. In addition to Thunder Bay, the 800 community members will be hosted at communities throughout the region.

“We have been in discussions with Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health, as it relates to the arrival and hosting of additional people within the city during the pandemic,” said Mayor Mauro. “Dr. DeMille has advised there are no active COVID-19 cases in Poplar Hill and vaccinations have been rolled out within the community.”

“The Municipal Emergency Control Group met this morning and is preparing to receive the evacuees,” said Kerri Marshall, Acting City Manager. “We will work with community leaders from Poplar Hill to provide a safe place for their residents in this dire situation.”

The local coordinating team, including the City of Thunder Bay, Police, Fire Rescue, Superior North EMS, Emergency Management Ontario, Canadian Red Cross, and Thunder Bay District Health Unit, will continue to meet to make necessary arrangements.

To support hosting evacuees in Thunder Bay, Mayor Mauro will activate funding from other levels of Government which are used to cover the financial implications of being a host community.