(Mishkeegogamang) On June 21, 2011, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Detachment members began assisting with evacuation efforts and property protection in the Mishkeegogamang First Nation due to a forest fire that has been in the area for the past seven days.

The forest fire condition is extreme and located approximately between 16 and 20 kilometres east of Mishkeegogamang First Nation.  It is believed that lightning had caused the fire to grow in size to approximately 22,000 hectares, about 29 kilometres long and 26 kilometres wide, with smoke drifting directly into the community.

The current evacuation level is at Level One, recommended by the Emergency Management Ontario Officer and the Ministry of Natural Resources.  A level one evacuation directs the evacuation of elderly, women, prenatal women, children, and people with respiratory problems.  The evacuees are being accepted in the town of Sioux Lookout, approximately 235 kilometres northwest, and will be accommodated in hotels and the recreation centre.  At this time, approximately 200 people have been evacuated to Sioux Lookout and approximately 92 people have been evacuated to Ignace

A teleconference scheduled on June 22, 2011 at 9:45 p.m. at the Mishkeegogamang Band Office will occur, along with more Ministry of Natural Resources fire crews.  Further updates will be made available.

Mishkeegogamang First Nation is approximately 315 km northwest of Thunder Bay.

For further information, please contact:

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Sgt. Jackie George
Media Relations- Phone 807-346-6593
Nishnawbe -Aski Police Headquarters
Thunder Bay, Ontario