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Ontario issues emergency order to help deal with northern wildfires

Click to play video: 'Video shows pitch black conditions during afternoon escape from Northern Ontario wildfire' Video shows pitch black conditions during afternoon escape from Northern Ontario wildfire
Video captured by Amanda Sainnawap shows pitch-black conditions in the middle of the afternoon as she and her kids drive away from a wildfire near Pikangikum First Nation in Northern Ontario Monday – Jul 13, 2021

TORONTO — Ontario has issued an emergency order for the province’s northwest to allow it to better respond to growing wildfires in the region.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the order means the province can close roads and restrict access to certain areas as needed to fight the fires.

Read more: NAN seeks emergency declaration from province over northern Ontario wildfires

It says high temperatures, dry conditions and frequent thunderstorms are contributing to multiple large forest fires in the region.

The government says there are currently over 70 forest fires burning across northwestern Ontario.

Residents in the area have been advised to refrain from burning outdoor fires, including campfires.

Since the weekend, hundreds of residents of Poplar Hill First Nation and Deer Lake First Nation have been evacuated to Thunder Bay and other communities due to threats posed by two different wildfires.

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Read more: Another northern Ontario First Nation evacuated due to wildfire threat

Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Greg Rickford says the government is doing everything it can to protect communities in the area.

“Public safety is our first priority, and we will continue to provide all support necessary to protect the health and well-being of those impacted by wildfires,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Canadian Forces help with wildfire evacuations near Ontario/Manitoba border' Canadian Forces help with wildfire evacuations near Ontario/Manitoba border
Canadian Forces help with wildfire evacuations near Ontario/Manitoba border – Jul 12, 2021

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