Thunder Bay

Forest fire smoke forces 300 to leave Sandy Lake

Thunder Bay will serve as a host to displaced northwestern Ontario residents

Another 230 evacuees from Sandy Lake will make their way to Thunder Bay today.

Smoke from forest fires burning near the community — and in Manitoba — is forcing hundreds to leave.

Thunder Bay's Deputy Fire Chief, Greg Hankkio, said the first plane was scheduled to land just before noon on Monday.

"That'll be ongoing throughout the day ... probably into the evening they'll continue to come in until ... all 230 arrive, if we can manage to get them all here today," he said.

Hankkio said the evacuees are staying at a local hotel and noted the most recent arrivals are in addition to the 72 others who arrived Sunday.

The Ministry of Natural Resources reports 66 fires are burning across the region, including 31 in the Red Lake District.

Rain has fallen across the district and the fire hazard is deemed as low across the region, according to the MNR.

Officials with the city have said Thunder Bay can support more evacuees if needed.