Community leaders in Red Lake are asking residents to be patient, as firefighters have managed to contain the wildfire nearby.

Relief efforts are being organized, as emergency management crews look for safe ways to restore order.

"This is great news. HOWEVER, residents need to be patient as we start the repatriation (re-entry of residents into the community)," it says in a social media post.

Crews are in the process of restoring critical infrastructure such as natural gas, to first get the hospital running at full capacity, then other essential services need to be restored, such as grocery stores and gas stations, it said in a Facebook post from the municipality.

In the meantime, evacuees may be eligible for financial asistance through:

  • ODSP,
  • Ontario Works and
  • the Kenora District Services Board.
  • Home owners insurance 
  • the Canadian Red Cross to provide assistance.
  • 2-1-1 or call 1-866-624-1729 (a live chat option is also available)

Today's update from the MNRF says:

  • The fire is being held and 100 per cent contained
  • The fire has received substantial rain as of this morning
  • There is minimal fire behaviour on Red 49
  • Crews continue to establish and consolidate hose line on all sides of the fire
  • 24 crews are committed to suppression.
  • 6 sustained action crews will be arriving at the fire today
  • 4 helicopters continue to support crews on the fire line

An implementation order has been declared.

 All travel, use and access to the following areas are restricted:

  • All communities within the Municipality of Red Lake, including Starratt-Olsen, Madsen, Red Lake, Balmertown, Cochenour and Mckenzie Island;
  • Highway 105 north of the intersection of Highway 105 and Bug River, including all side roads to residential areas and tourist camps; Highway 618 from the junction of Highway 105 to and including Starratt-Olsen as well as the Suffel Lake Road to the Flat Lake culvert; and
  • Highway 125 and all municipal roads and access roads off of Highway 125 including the Nungesser Road to the intersection of East Bay Road.

No person shall enter those areas and all non-essential personnel in those identified areas must evacuate immediately, unless authorized by a travel permit issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. 

For evacuees in Machin area, the following is available:

  • Lions Club is offering food hampers (including dog and cat food) - call 807-220-1818 to arrange delivery or pick
  • Donations are being accepted at the Credit Union in Vermilion Bay.
  • The Municipal Office in Machin (807) 227-2633 ext. 22 or after hours 807-529-4636.

Red Lake Métis Citizens can also reach out to:

  • Dryden 1-807-223-4535 ext. 307
  • Atikokan 1-807-597-4408
  • Kenora 1-807-464-2660
  • Fort Frances 1-807-276-6541

There is also a 24-HR Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line (1-877-767-7572). Once connected services can be delivered in person, over the phone, or by video conference.

For non-urgent matters -- or for help navigating mental health and addictions supports in your community -- please contact our confidential support services line at 613-549-1674 xt.307 or tollfree at 1-800-263-4889. You can also access our support services by emailing us at video@metisnation.org.

"You are in our thoughts," it says in their social media post.