Weather now co-operating with evacuation of fire-threatened communities

WINNIPEG — The weather is now co-operating with efforts to evacuate some 1,400 people from two First Nations communities in Manitoba that are being threatened by forest fires.

The Canadian Red Cross says planes and helicopters have been able to move people out of Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi, about 260 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

Red Cross spokesman Jason Small says everyone should be out before the end of today and brought to hotel rooms in Winnipeg.

Chief Raymond Keeper of Little Grand Rapids says homes are damaged in his community but there was no loss of life.

Dry weather has made for an early start to forest fire season in Manitoba.

The fire that caused the evacuation had grown to 200 square kilometres as of Wednesday, sending thick smoke and ash into the air.

The smoke hampered evacuation efforts at the Little Grand Rapids airport earlier this week.

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