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City Government

Thunder Bay Update on Forest Fire Evacuations

July 20, 2011 – The City of Thunder Bay expects to receive up to 1,000 evacuees of Sandy Lake First Nation today for transportation to other host communities.

As of Tuesday, Thunder Bay is hosting about 280 residents of Sandy Lake for the duration of the evacuation. About 200 other residents of Sandy Lake arrived in Thunder Bay on Tuesday and were transported by bus to their host community of Wawa.

 “During this difficult time, our visitors from Sandy Lake have been extremely patient and appreciative of the efforts of Thunder Bay to make them welcome and comfortable,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs, following a meeting today of Thunder Bay’s Emergency Operations Control Group. “The local coordinating team has done a splendid job and I have commended them for their efforts.”

The Canadian Red Cross has set up a Central Registration Inquiry Bureau hotline for evacuees to locate and reconnect with family members who have been sent to other communities across the province. That number is 1-866-356-3645, ext. 236.

The local Emergency Operations Control Group coordinating team includes the City of Thunder Bay, Fire & Rescue, Police, District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Superior North EMS and Canadian Red Cross. The team will deal with evacuee requirements as they emerge.

Sandy Lake is 600 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

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Contact:  Mayor Keith Hobbs, 625-3600
               Dennis Brescacin, Community Emergency Management Coordinator, Fire Rescue,