Nearly 500 residents of Deer Lake, Ont., flee forest fire

Nearly 500 residents of Deer Lake, Ont., flee forest fire

07 July 2011

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Canada — Hundreds of residents in the northwestern Ontario community of Deer Lake are being evacuated because of nearby forest fires.

Emergency Management Ontario says 203 residents were flown out of the community on Wednesday night to Greenstone while another 127 boarded a military plane this morning.

Officials are evacuating about 480 of the community’s 1,100 residents — mainly babies and the elderly and those with breathing problems or other health issues.

Emergency Management Ontario spokesman Brent Ross says another military plane is being brought in today from Winnipeg to help with the evacuations.

The blazes, which are burning about 3.5 kilometres away from the community, are sending thick smoke across the area.

Ministry of Natural Resources crews are fighting the fires with water bombers.

Other remote communities affected by the fires are Sandy Lake, Cat Lake and North Spirit Lake but no evacuations are currently planned for residents in those communities.

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