Around 100 Marcel Colomb First Nation members returned home Friday after they fled a forest fire that came dangerously close to their community.
After evacuating to Lynn Lake on June 24, these resident were then provided with lodgings, food and other necessary support at the Mystery Lake Hotel in Thompson since June 26.
Now that the blaze is under control and the evacuation has been lifted, all the displaced residents left Thompson the morning/afternoon of June 29 and arrived home safely around 5:30 p.m. that same day.
“I want to thank the Red Cross for doing such an awesome job keeping us together, making us feel at home,” said resident Evelyn Sinclair. “And Mystery Lake [Hotel] for welcoming us and Lynn Lake for being there for us for two days. They made it so easy for us.”
Even though this crisis has passed, Jessie Horodecki, a community outreach coordinator for the Red Cross, said they’re still being kept on high alert, especially since an irregular wildfire season in Manitoba has already lead to evacuations in other Indigenous communities like Little Grand Rapids.
“Usually forest fire season is July-August. This year it started in May,” she said. “So we’re definitely looking for more volunteers in Thompson. The volunteers we have are fantastic, but we could always use more.”
To find out more about how to become a volunteer for the Red Cross, please visit www.redcross.ca/heroeswantedmb.
By the end of June, Manitoba has already seen 295 fires, which is well above the 20-year average of 210 to that date.