July 12, 2019 3:38 pm

Roughly half of Pikangikum residents now evacuated as forest fire burns

Wade Durham from Ornge talks about the situation on the ground in Pikangikum First Nation.

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Officials say the full evacuation of a northern Ontario First Nation threatened by a forest fire has reached roughly the halfway mark.

The commander of Pikangikum’s emergency operations centre said on Friday that around 2,000 of the First Nation’s approximately 4,000 residents have been moved to Regina and other host communities in Ontario.

READ MORE: Forest fire threatening Pikangikum First Nation grows as evacuation continues


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Mathew Hoppe says more flights out of the community are planned but evacuations by land and water routes remain on hold after being paused Wednesday when host communities in Ontario reached capacity.

The Saskatchewan government has said it will take in up to 2,000 displaced residents.

READ MORE: First of 2,000 Ontario wildfire evacuees arrive in Saskatchewan

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the forest fire is about 507 square kilometres in size and is burning six kilometres southwest of Pikangikum.

A full evacuation of the community was ordered on Monday.

WATCH: Northern Ontario wildfires continue to burn

 

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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