Hundreds flee as wildfire threatens Manitoba town

Hundreds flee as wildfire threatens Manitoba town

27 June 2010

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Canada — Hundreds of people have fled a small Manitoba town as a massive wildfire pours thick smoke over the northwestern corner of the province. Between 300 and 400 people have left Cranberry Portage, Man., population 606, as a wildfire 13 kilometres from the remote town continues to grow. Now at 53,500 hectares in size, it is larger than the island of Barbados and has resulted in road closures in the area and a voluntary evacuation order.

Many people have decamped to stay with friends and family in The Pas and Flin Flon. Some campgrounds and cottage developments in the area have been closed, but on Sunday, authorities allowed some to return to tend pets and take care of other domestic needs. They were cautioned, however, that “the evacuation alert remains in place,” said Manitoba government spokesman Paul White. “Don’t get too comfy. A 52,000-hectare fire is still roaring.”

The fire is just one of several of that size currently raging in Northern Canada. In total, 1-million hectares are ablaze across the country, including more than 330,000 in Quebec and Saskatchewan.

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