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Arson charges in Little Grand Rapids fire that forced thousands to evacuate

The night sky glows red as wildfires threaten Little Grand Rapids May 23, 2018.
The night sky glows red as wildfires threaten Little Grand Rapids May 23, 2018. Facebook / Cindy R Bushie

Three people have been charged with arson in a 2018 wildfire on Little Grand Rapids First Nation that forced more than 2,000 residents of two communities to evacuate.

By the time it was contained, the fire, which started May 21 of last year, had burned 29,000 hectares of forest in Manitoba and 3,000 in Ontario.

READ MORE: Manitoba wildfire evacuees to return to Little Grand Rapids

The blaze also damaged a kilometre of Hydro line, six homes, an equipment warehouse and a substation on Little Grand Rapids First Nation, 15 buildings at Moar Lake Lodge and five at Fishing Lake Lodge.

The cost of suppressing the fire came to $1.3 million in Manitoba and $500,000 in Ontario.

Damian Deacon Frost Bushie, 19, of Little Grand Rapids, and Ace River Turtle, 20, of Pikangikum, Ont., face charges of arson and leaving a place without ensuring the fire is out. A third suspect faces the same charges but can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

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WATCH: Growing wildfire forces full evacuation of Little Grand Rapids

Growing wildfire forces full evacuation of Little Grand Rapids
Growing wildfire forces full evacuation of Little Grand Rapids