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Manitoba preparing for 3,000 evacuees from Northwest Territory wildfires

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The Manitoba government says people forced to evacuate due to wildfires in the Northwest Territories could be arriving in Manitoba by Saturday.

A government spokesperson said Friday the province is preparing for the arrival of up to 3,000 evacuees, with the first ones expected to arrive by air charter.

“Arrangements are being finalized to support evacuees with shelter, using hotel accommodations in Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage la Prairie,” the spokesperson said. “Transportation, meals and essential health supports will be provided to evacuees as required.”

The city of Yellowknife, which has a population of roughly 22,000 people, has been under an evacuation order since Wednesday due to the wildfires. There were 236 wildfires active in the territory as of Friday morning, with flames 16 kilometres away from the city.

The province said they are also preparing to send firefighting equipment and crews to help battle the wildfires.

The spokesperson said they will be sending two water bombers, a bird dog aircraft, an additional air attack officer and a ground crew of 20 personnel in the coming days.

-With files from CTV’s Michael Lee

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