Manitobans going home after fleeing forest fires more than two weeks ago
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WINNIPEG — The Canadian Red Cross is assisting forest fire evacuees return to their homes on the Wasagamack First Nation in Manitoba.
People from three First Nations communities in the Island Lake region were forced from their homes more than two weeks ago by a wildfire.
The Red Cross said the decision to return was made by each First Nation in consultation with the federal government.
It said 1,300 people from Wasagamack First Nation registered with the agency and have been staying in hotels in Brandon and Winnipeg or with friends and family.
Flights for evacuees are scheduled from Brandon and Winnipeg on Saturday and Sunday.
The Wasagamack evacuees are the final group to start the journey home — those from Theresa Point returned earlier this week, while 2,700 people from Garden Hill First Nation began returning on Thursday.
"We know that it has been a long, stressful time for the people of Wasagamack, but it is heartwarming that they will soon be back in their homes and resuming their lives," said Shawn Feely of the Canadian Red Cross.
"We have been happy to work closely with the First Nation leadership to ensure the community members are able to get back home quickly and smoothly."