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Evacuations in 45 N. Ontario wildfires

May 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM

TIMMINS, Ontario, May 24 (UPI) -- Several Canadian provinces have sent crews to help fight 45 wildfires burning in northeastern Ontario and hundreds of people were in shelters, officials said.

Firefighters from British Columbia, Newfoundland and Manitoba were working alongside Ontario crews Thursday to combat the fires, 17 of which are classified as not under control, the Elliot Lake Standard reported.

The provincial Ministry of Natural Resources said at least 300 people outside the small city of Kirkland Lake had been evacuated as a fire that has scorched 7,000 acres approached, the QMI Agency said.

Within the city, some 45,000 people were on emergency evacuation alert, the reports said.

Elsewhere, some 180 people from the Mattagami First Nations Indian reservation were evacuated by bus to Kapuskasing when a wildfire came within two miles of the village, QMI reported.

The Standard said so far this year, warm, dry and windy conditions have helped 312 fires consume more than 72,000 acres in the region, more than double last May's fire damage.

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