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Ontario issues emergency order to help deal with northern wildfires

TORONTO — Ontario has issued an emergency order for the province’s northwest to allow it to better respond to growing wildfires in the region. 

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the order means the province can close roads and restrict access to certain areas as needed to fight the fires. 

It says high temperatures, dry conditions and frequent thunderstorms are contributing to multiple large forest fires in the region.

The government says there are currently over 70 forest fires burning across northwestern Ontario.

Residents in the area have been advised to refrain from burning outdoor fires, including campfires.

Since the weekend, hundreds of residents of Poplar Hill First Nation and Deer Lake First Nation have been evacuated to Thunder Bay and other communities due to threats posed by two different wildfires.

Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Greg Rickford says the government is doing everything it can to protect communities in the area. 

“Public safety is our first priority, and we will continue to provide all support necessary to protect the health and well-being of those impacted by wildfires,” he said. 

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2021. 

The Canadian Press