'It's terrifying': Hundreds flee northern Ontario forest fire
Published Wednesday, August 1, 2018 7:11AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 1, 2018 9:41PM EDT
Hundreds of people have fled from a forest fire in northern Ontario and many more are packing their bags in case the flames force them to leave.
The fire, named Parry Sound 33, has consumed more than 10,000 hectares since July 18. It’s located less than one kilometre south of the Pickerel River and about five kilometres west of Highway 69, which officials warn could be closed.
Nearly 200 people have been evacuated from Henvey Inlet First Nation, which is about 90 kilometres north of the Town of Parry Sound and a roughly 330 kilometres from Toronto.
Resident Amanda Barbe told CTV Northern Ontario that the evacuation order was “terrifying.”
“You’re panicked, you don’t know what to take,” she said from Sudbury, Ont..
“We're really just depending on the wind, for that to go in a good direction,” she added.
More than 400 people from the sprawling Municipality of Killarney have also been ordered to leave. That evacuation includes the areas of Travers, Allen, Struthers, Kilpatrick, Bigwood (including Hartley Bay Road), a portion of Mowat, the Unsurveyed Area, 14 Mile Island and French River Provincial Park. The Village of Killarney is hours from the flames and not affected by the order.
The Municipality of French River, meanwhile, has issued an evacuation alert for the village of Alban “west of the high powered hydro lines on Highway 64.” An evacuation alert means people must be prepared to leave if an order is issued.
Alban resident Gabbie Crocco and her daughter spent Wednesday packing up whatever they may need if they’re forced to leave, along with family photos.
“You can’t replace any of that,” she said. “All the other stuff, furniture and stuff, that can be replaced.”
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Crocco said she hopes she won’t need to evacuate but has seen the weather forecast and it doesn’t look good.
“We’re not getting rain anytime soon,” she said.
With reports from CTV Northern Ontario’s Callam Rodya and CTV Toronto’s Sean Leathong