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Evacuations continue for northeast Manitoba First Nations communities

WATCH: The red sky shown in this Facebook video isn't a sunset, it is the glow of flames from the fires that have forced the evacuation of Little Grand Rapids.

Evacuation efforts continue Thursday for Manitoba First Nations threatened by wildfires.

The Red Cross said as of Thursday afternoon a total of 1,800 people had been evacuated from Little Grand Rapids First Nation, Pauingassi First Nation, and Sapotaweyak Cree Nation.

READ MORE: Royal Canadian Air Force assisting evacuation in Little Grand Rapids

Donovan Bushie was evacuated from Little Grand Rapids First Nation and arrived in Winnipeg Wednesday evening.

“It (the fire) got worse, it got smoky, the winds shifted,” he said.

“Planes couldn’t come in. We had to go across (the lake) because the fire was coming. The fire got too crazy and we had to go back across because the fire was coming towards us.”

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WATCH: Aerial footage shows plumes of smoke over Little Grand Rapids, Man.

Aerial footage shows plumes of smoke over Little Grand Rapids, Man.
Aerial footage shows plumes of smoke over Little Grand Rapids, Man.

Willard Dunsford is also from Little Grand Rapids. This was his first time being evacuated.

“It was kind of terrifying for everybody,” he said. “I was kind of scared that I’d get stuck over there. I was really scared, me and my kids were scared.”

Lindros Keeper was evacuated from Pauingassi First Nation Thursday morning.

“I just hope everyone’s okay back home. Safe and sound,” said Keeper.

Several evacuees are staying at the Holiday Inn Hotel on Ellice Avenue.

READ MORE: Growing wildfire forces full evacuation of Little Grand Rapids

Rescue planes and helicopters continue to fly into the communities through the day, some going through Red Lake, Ontario first before flying the evacuees south to Winnipeg.

A Hercules military aircraft with about 100 more evacuees was scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg late Thursday afternoon.

The Red Cross said their hope was to have all evacuation trips completed by the end of the day.

The provincial government confirmed Wednesday that the fire was human caused. It broke out on Monday.

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Smoke from the wildfires reduced air quality and hampered evacuation efforts Wednesday.
Smoke from the wildfires reduced air quality and hampered evacuation efforts Wednesday. Thad Leveque
Flames from nearby wildfires lit up the night over Little Grand Rapids.
Flames from nearby wildfires lit up the night over Little Grand Rapids. Thad Leveque
Evacuees watched as the fire threatened Little Grand Rapids Wednesday.
Evacuees watched as the fire threatened Little Grand Rapids Wednesday. Keesha Keeper
Aerial images show the smoke billowing above the community.
Aerial images show the smoke billowing above the community. Keesha Keeper
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