Two men, youth charged with starting Manitoba wildfire that led to evacuation


LITTLE GRAND RAPIDS, Man. — Three people have been charged with arson for allegedly starting a wildfire in east-central Manitoba that forced 2,000 people to flee the area last May.

Residents of the fly-in Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nations were out of their homes for more than a month.

The Manitoba government says in a release that the fire burned 320 square kilometres of forest, including an area stretching over the boundary into Ontario.

Six homes and 20 other buildings were destroyed.

Manitoba says it spent $1.3 million to fight the fire, and Ontario spent another $500,000.

Two men and a youth face charges of arson and of leaving a place without ensuring a fire is out.

Indigenous leaders from Little Grand Rapids were angry with the federal and provincial governments at the time of the evacuation. They said they said red tape and lack of communication hindered efforts to get their people to safety.


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