Manitoba First Nation community trapped by smoke as fire creeps closer

WINNIPEG — Hundreds of people from a Manitoba First Nation are sitting in the local school as a raging forest fire encroaches on the community.

Evacuations from Little Grand Rapids — a fly-in community about 260 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg — began on Tuesday, but heavy smoke made it impossible for planes to land.

Only about 60 people were brought out, and the rest went to the school to stay safe overnight.

There are reports 11 homes have burned down.

The 200-square-kilometre fire reached the airport overnight and has moved close to a neighbouring community, which is also being evacuated.

A local airline has been using float planes today to help in the evacuation, but can only fly out a handful of people at a time.

On top of fire-fighting resources from Manitoba, crews from Ontario and water bombers from Quebec are helping to battle the blaze.

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