Wildfire smoke prompts evacuations in First Nations communities

Two First Nations communities are evacuating vulnerable residents due to wildfire smoke blowing in from northwestern Ontario.

The Canadian Red Cross is transporting up to 200 babies, elderly residents, and those with chronic respiratory problems from Manitoba’s Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations to Winnipeg.

Environment Canada issued air-quality statements for eastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario on Saturday, due to several forest fires.

The largest of the fires reached 720 sq. kilometres near Ontario’s Keewaywin First Nation.

Residents of Keewaywin and Pikangikum First Nation have been evacuated as a precaution.

It is unknown when residents will be cleared to return.