Pikangikum evacuees will remain in Timmins as wildfires continue to wreak havoc in Northwestern Ontario.
City hall stated in a release there are currently 166 active fires in various stages of control in the region as of Wednesday. The primary concern for the Pikangikum First Nation community right now is smoke. The 137 evacuees from Pikangikum will continue to remain in Timmins.
Also, Timmins continues to be supported by the Independent First Nation Alliance (IFNA).
“Their local liaison is helping address health, wellness, and recreation concerns. Canadian Rangers have now arrived on site to serve in a support capacity and identify and address any additional community needs,” the city stated in its release.
During their stay, the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB) is facilitating daily activities and implementing an activity calendar, particularly for children and adolescents on site.
“Things are going really well,” said Timmins fire chief and emergency management coordinator Tom Laughren. “It’s rewarding to see our community partners and service agencies come together to help; we’ve got a good group of people working on this. The situation in Northwestern Ontario can change minute by minute, it is still very much unfolding, and we will continue to assist as required.”
Timmins is currently sheltering 52 adults over the age of 20; 18 young adults or adolescents from age 11 to 20, and 67 children under the age of 10.
The release mentioned some members of the Pikangikum community have been transferred for family reunification, which is being monitored on a case-by-case basis.
All public health measures remain in place and COVID-19 protocols are being followed. Motorists are reminded that there will be increased foot traffic in Timmins’ west end, particularly along the Riverside Drive corridor from Timmins Square to Walmart.