State of emergency lifted in northern Canadian town

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A local state of emergency has been lifted in Déline, a remote community in Canada’s Northwest Territories, which flew out dozens of residents on Monday as a forest fire burned nearby.

About 94 elders, young children and other “at-risk” residents in Déline, a community of about 700, were flown to Yellowknife early Monday morning after local officials declared a state of emergency and issued a partial evacuation order.

The 150-hectare wildfire, which was reported on Sunday night, is burning 12½ kilometres north of Déline, according to the N.W.T.’s Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Department.

Déline resident Christina Gaudet, who helped coordinate the evacuation process, said on Monday afternoon that the state of emergency has been lifted.

“After the last report from the ENR [officials], they feel that with the wind direction and the water bombers coming in, the two fire crews coming in from Norman Wells and the Tulita [fire crew] already here, they feel that Déline is no longer at a direct threat,” Gaudet told CBC News.

“It’s a very big relief from us for … the emergency operations committee.”

Department spokesperson Judy McLinton said earlier on Monday that two CL-215 air tanker groups, an incident command team, five fire crews and three helicopters were travelling to Déline to help with firefighting efforts.

Déline is located about 540 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife on the southwestern shore of Great Bear Lake and is accessible primarily by air. It is inhabited primarily be members of the Sahtu Dene First Nation.

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CBC News

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