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Emergency coordinator says wildfire evacuees hoping to go home soon

Fire crews continue to battle major wildfires in Manitoba’s north, while hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes in Cranberry Portage.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a wildfire near Flin Flon remains at about 31,600 hectares in size and is impacting the cottage subdivisions of Sourdough Bay, Whitefish Lake, Twin Lakes, Schist Lake North, and Cranberry Portage. The smoke from the wildfire is also impacting some Manitoba communities.

Lori Forbes, the emergency coordinator for the RM of Kelsey, said the fire remains very active on the east side.

“The crews continue to battle and do all their expertise to get that fire under control,” she said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Wednesday.

Forbes noted that even though it was a cool night on Tuesday, the fire remains “serious.”

She said that she has a strong team helping her with this emergency and the evacuations, adding that they’ve received a lot of support.

“We are feeding people at our reception centre in the Wescana Inn,” she said.

“We’ve had donations from everyone – Giant Tiger has been amazing, No Frills has been amazing. All of the resources that we have available to us in the town of The Pas.”

On Tuesday, Premier Wab Kinew visited northern Manitoba to tour the areas impacted by the wildfires. He said the government will be there to help support those affected by the fires.

Forbes said all the evacuees want is to be able to return home soon.

“That’s the biggest question every day, ’When can we go home? When is this going to be wrapped up?’” she said.

“Our biggest concern is to ensure that they are safe and returning to a safe community.”

As for what they need, Forbes said they could use some toys and games to entertain the kids who have been evacuated.

Those who want to help can check out the RM of Kelsey Facebook page for more information.

Forbes said residents can expect further emergency management updates on Wednesday morning.

The reception centre at the Wescana Inn in The Pas is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

– With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagace.


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