A raging fire is forcing hundreds of Ontarians to currently flee their homes. Many have evacuated their town to escape the approaching forest fire in Red Lake. Over 450 evacuees will be taking shelter in Thunder Bay, which is nearly 500 kilometres northwest of the township.

In a statement from Thunder Bay mayor Bill Mauro, he announced that hundreds would be taking shelter in their city as the fires grow larger. 

"I have talked with the Mayor of Red Lake and indicated our willingness to support the Red Lake evacuees," Mayor Bill Mauro explained in a statement on Tuesday.

"I have also confirmed with our three emergency services that at this time, they have the capacity to meet the needs of hosting evacuees," he added.

According to CBC, around 450 people can be expected to arrive in the city. 

The ongoing forest fire has been burning since Monday. Red Lake residents have been instructed to leave their homes and take shelter in neighbouring areas.

Thunder Bay officials state that the fire poses an immediate risk to public safety.

Yesterday, it was reported that the blaze spanned about 550 hectares of land. On Wednesday morning, CDKR reported that it had now spread to 750 hectares. 

Red Lake has a population of approximately 4,500 residents. The displaced will be sheltered in several different areas, including Dryden and Kenora.

The City of Thunder Bay assured residents that proper COVID-19 precautions would be taken to ensure incoming evacuees do not bring the virus with them.

"We have been in discussions with Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health, as it relates to the arrival and hosting of additional people within the city during a pandemic," said Norm Gale, City Manager.

"COVID-19 prevention measures are in place in Thunder Bay, and evacuees will abide by the health and safety measures in our community. We have also been informed by Dr. DeMille that at this time, there are no active COVID-19 cases in the community of Red Lake," he added.

Photos of the swarming flames have begun popping up on social media on Tuesday.

The shocking images highlight the severity of the disaster, as vast stretches of land can be seen burning in the distance.

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