Regina welcomes 400 evacuees as the process starts to get people away from a Northern Ontario wild fire

Saskatchewan is starting to welcome people from Northern Ontario who are being evacuated from the wild fires.

Families from Pikangikum, near the Manitoba border, are starting to fly into Regina to be housed at the U of R dorms and local hotels.

Vice President of Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Duane McKay says the first flight arrived at about 10:30am Thursday. “Ontario is handling all of the flights. We have eight scheduled today and we do not have the schedule for tomorrow yet. Each flight I want to say had around 50-80 people on it.”

Around 400 people will be arriving in Regina on Thursday.

Deanna Valentine with Emergency Social Services says volunteers and Red Cross volunteers will be on hand to help organize meals and activities for the families while they are in Saskatchewan. “These people mainly speak Ojibwa so the government on Ontario will be sending English and Ojibwa interpreters with the evacuees to help them with their transition to Saskatchewan and to keep them updates on the situation back home.”

There are 500 room available for evacuees at the U of R dorms and 150 hotel rooms in Regina.  Once Regina meets full capacity, evacuees will start to be housed in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

More updates are anticipated throughout the wild fire situation.

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