WINNIPEG -- Residents in the northwestern Ontario Municipality of Red Lake have been told to evacuate due to a forest fire in the area.

“It is the safety of our residents that is our first priority,” said Mayor Fred Mota in a news release. “We ask that all residents follow this directive to ensure the safety and well-being of all of us."

The municipality, located less than 100 kilometres from the Manitoba border, told residents on Monday night to leave as soon as possible, urging those who are vulnerable to leave immediately.

Red Lake forest fire

(A forest fire burns near Red Lake, Ontario. Source: Twitter- Sol Mamakwa MPP @solmamakwa)

Anyone without a means of transportation, who doesn’t have supports, has breathing difficulties or accessibility concerns is considered vulnerable and the municipality said in a news release it will help arrange accommodations for those individuals. For assistance, contact 807-727-7106 or email

Air transportation is being coordinated with Emergency Management Ontario by the municipality for those who couldn’t leave on Monday.

Evacuated residents are being asked to stop at the Township of Ear Falls office or the Dryden Memorial Arena in order to register for assistance.

A temporary shelter is set up at the Dryden arena, and the municipality is looking to set up more locations in Kenora, Ignace, and Fort Frances.

red lake forest fire

(A forest fire burns near Red Lake, Ontario. Source: Twitter- Sol Mamakwa MPP @solmamakwa)

The municipality’s control group is in contact with the Emergency Management Ontario Provincial Operations Centre to determine how to safely evacuate residents through air transportation.

Flights are expected to begin on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and more details are to come.

Residents should check on their neighbours and make sure everyone can get out of the community safely.

Officials are also working with the Ontario Provincial Police and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.