The City of Thunder Bay is preparing to receive approximately 300 people from Pikangikum First Nation over the course of the next 48 hours as the community reported that they require immediate evacuation of their vulnerable population due to heavy smoke impacting the community and affecting public health and wellness.

The city will also serve as a transportation hub to assist with travel to other host communities across Ontario.

A pair of fires in close proximity to the community and smoke blowing east from the Manitoba border are the causes of concern, especially for vulnerable population in the community.

"Thunder Bay’s Emergency Operations Control Group is very experienced in dealing with these types of emergencies,” said Mayor Bill Mauro.

“We are prepared to provide any support we can to our northern neighbours in their time of need, and will be working hard to provide for the comfort of evacuees coming to Thunder Bay,”

Pikangikum is a fly-in First Nation community located approximately 100 km north of Red Lake and has a population of approximately 4000.

The local coordinating team including the City of Thunder Bay, Police, Fire & Rescue, Superior North EMS, Emergency Management Ontario and Canadian Red Cross, will continue to meet to make necessary arrangements.

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Contact: John Hay, Fire Chief – Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, 628-4774
             Stacey Levanen, Public Information Officer, 625-3650