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Fire forces evacuation of northern First Nation

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Evacuations continued this weekend from northern Manitoba where provincial conservation crews are fighting a forest fire that is bearing down on a remote First Nation.

By Sunday, evacuee numbers had risen by approximately 140 since Friday, a spokesman with Manitoba Conservation confirmed.

In total 785 residents are currently evacuated, all from Tataskweyak Cree Nation. Of the evacuees, 653 are in Winnipeg and another 132 are in Thompson.

The Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters and federal regional staff with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development coordinated the evacuations as a precaution due to heavy smoke. The elderly, people with lung conditions and breathing problems and pregnant women have been flown out.

Most residents remained behind in the community of Split Lake, the townsite for the Tataskweyak Cree Nation of 2,400. It’s located 772 km north of Winnipeg.

Manitoba Conservation continues to battle the forest fire. By Friday it had consumed 16,000 hectares and advanced to within eight kilometres of the northern community.

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