Manitoba

Forest fire evacuees in Winnipeg head home to Pikangikum

The first wave of evacuees from a fire-threatened northwestern Ontario First Nation will leave Winnipeg hotel rooms and head home.

1st wave of evacuees flies from Manitoba back to northwestern Ontario First Nation community

Pikangikum First Nation members arrive in Winnipeg on June 2. (Submitted by Darryl Hepner)

The first wave of evacuees from a fire-threatened northwestern Ontario First Nation will leave Winnipeg hotel rooms and head home.

Ninety of the 420 evacuees in the city from Pikangikum First Nation, about 300 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, were expected to return Monday, Canadian Red Cross officials said. The rest will be flown home over the next few days.

The 3,800-hectare blaze, first detected at the end of May, forced more than 2,000 people from Pikangikum. Most were airlifted to Ontario communities.

As of Sunday, the fire was listed as being held, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources officials said. Significant rainfall in the area has helped firefighting efforts.

Red Cross officials said they always need volunteers for emergency disaster services. Anyone interested in helping out should contact Red Cross at volunteer@redcross.ca or 1-844-818-2155.

The fly-in community of Pikangikum First Nation is about 300 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. (CBC)

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