Pikangikum First Nation evacuees heading home as officials bring forest fire under control

The first of several hundred people evacuated due to a forest fire near Pikangikum First Nation are heading home on Monday as officials continue to hold the fire at its current size.

About 90 people who had been flown to Winnipeg are going back to the community in northern Ontario. A total of about 420 people had been flown to Winnipeg, while other evacuees were staying in Thunder Bay, Red Lake and other Ontario towns and cities.

“There are two flights scheduled today to fly evacuees back to the northwestern Ontario community,” said Jason Small of the Canadian Red Cross.

“The remainder are slated to head home over the next few days.”

Wildfire near Pikangikum First Nation spreading slower than before: officials

About 2,000 residents had been forced from their homes due to a nearby forest fire that started on May 29. A few days later, the fire had grown to 38 square kilometres.

The fire is currently still being fought but has not grown since then, according to the Ontario provincial government.

The fly-in community is located about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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