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Wabaseemoong First Nation declares an emergency due to forest fire and smoke

Ontario's Emergency Operations centre is discussing a precautionary evacuation of vulnerable community members
Forest fire Aug 2021
There were 109 active forest fires in the Northwest Region as of the evening of Aug. 2, 2021, including 18 not under control (AFFES photo/Twitter)

WABASEEMOONG INDEPENDENT NATION, Ont. — A Northwestern Ontario First Nation only 20 kilometres distant from a large forest fire has declared a state of emergency.

According to the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, Wabaseemoong 's Chief and Council made the declaration Monday due to the threat of fire and smoke from wildland fires in the Kenora region and nearby in Manitoba.

An Ontario government spokesperson said the Operations Centre is currently engaged in "active discussions" with community leaders and government partners about the precautionary evacuation of vulnerable community members.

"Planning is ongoing to arrange suitable and appropriate transportation from the community," a statement issued Tuesday afternoon said.

It said Emergency Management Ontario is working with several locations across the province that can provide support and assistance to evacuees.

Kenora fire #51, which started on June 8, has burned 188,000 hectares and remains not under control.

However at last report it was still north of Umfreville Lake, north of Wabaseemoong, and was not "spotted" south of the lake.