UPDATED Forest fires evacuate hundreds from communities northwest of Winnipeg

first_img(A graphic shows two fires that have sparked up near Easterville and Chemawawin Cree Nation in recent days. Credit: Government of Manitoba)APTN National NewsAt least 2,000 people from Easterville and Chemawawin Cree Nation in Manitoba have been evacuated as crews fight to contain raging forest fires in the area.A statement from the Canadian Red Cross said people from Chemawawin began either driving or being sent by bus to Winnipeg on Thursday, which is about 460 km from the community. Evacuees from Easterville were being sent to a nearby town, the Pas.By Friday morning, most people had left the communities, according to the Manitoba government’s wildfire program, but no buildings or other infrastructure had been lost.The fire is being estimated at 350 hectares and is being held to the edge of the communities by seven ground crews with two water bombers and four bulldozers.The Red Cross said its volunteers are helping community members and the organization will provide transportation, hotels, food and other necessities.It is unknown how long it will be until people from the First Nation will be allowed to return home.The province said 19 new wildfires, all caused by lightning, have been reported in Manitoba in recent days.last_img read more