Webequie First Nation Struggles with Infrastructure After House Fire as Ring of Fire Road Study Proceeds

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The Ring of Fire Presents Huge Opportunity for Ontario.
The Ring of Fire will impact First Nations in Northern Ontario.

Webequie First Nation, ON – On July 1, 2024, a family of six, including a baby, lost their newly built home to a devastating fire. Although no lives were lost, the fire caused smoke damage to an adjacent home and disrupted electrical power and clean drinking water supplies in the community. While the water situation is expected to be resolved soon, the incident highlights ongoing infrastructure challenges in Webequie First Nation (WFN).

Chief Cornelius Wabasse expressed the community’s struggle to provide adequate infrastructure while a study for the proposed Ring of Fire supply road continues. In his statement, Chief Wabasse emphasized:

“Webequie First Nation stands with the community in their support for the family of six who lost their home and belongings due to this fire. It is truly unfortunate that when a house fire occurs, it takes us a minimum of 1-3 years to replace it. Meanwhile, our housing list backlog increases, leading to overcrowded homes. It is a vicious circle that we need help escaping.”

Webequie First Nation has faced similar challenges in the past, including the loss of a new four-plex unit to a fire on August 24, 2022, and another home on April 7, 2023. Despite receiving a wildfire rapid attack bush truck in March 2024, it was unable to extinguish the fire on July 1.

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