Sudbury·Updated

Evacuees from town north of Sudbury can go home

Residents of the small community of Westree, Ont. about halfway between Sudbury and Timmins, have been told they can go home again because the threat to their homes by a forest fire has eased.

Homes in Westree threatened by forest fire

Residents of the small community of Westree, Ont. about halfway between Sudbury and Timmins, have been told they can go home again because the threat to their homes by a forest fire has eased.

Their town of about 80 permanent residents was evacuated earlier this week because of a forest fire in the area. But Thursday they were told by the Ministry of Natural Resources they could go back.

The ministry warned that they should be ready to leave again on three hours notice if wind conditions changed.

The ministry also banned fires in Northeastern Ontario, and said there is an extreme risk of fire for Sudbury, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. It said there is a low or moderate risk for the rest of the region.

Many of the Westree evacuees have been staying in cottages at the nearby Camp Gilla.

The manager of the camp, Linda Kent, said spirits were high, but the residents were anxious to go home.

She said staff, and even other guests at the camp, gave up their living spaces for the evacuees.

"I love this stuff. I love being part of the community and helping as much as we can. I mean I think we're put on the planet for [reasons] and that could be one of them."