The pandemic is adding to the need for emergency planning this spring, says Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

"A possible evacuation, not just from Kashechewan, but with the early forest fire threat, similar to what we had last year in Pikangikum that was in the middle of May," said the grand chief last week.

First Nation leaders have been in touch with the military already this spring, after municipal leaders said they couldn't host evacuees, due to public health restrictions associated with the coronavirus outbreak.

Last May, evacuations started from Pikangikum, as wildfires impacted elders and vulnerable members of the community. This spring, leaders with Nishnawbe Aski Nation are working to find safe places for evacuees.

"It's been a lot of work into the plan that has happened, as I said over the last four weeks to identify potential host sites. I understand that there are now being considered to host evacuees from Kaschechewan, due to the perennial flood threats," Fiddler added.

For more information:

State of emergency for Pikangikum