Ontario Newsroom

Ontario Deploys Mobile Medical Unit To Aid Forest Fire Evacuation

Archived News Release

Ontario Deploys Mobile Medical Unit To Aid Forest Fire Evacuation

2,730 People Evacuated From Northwestern Ontario

The province is sending the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) to support forest fire evacuees in Northwestern Ontario.

EMAT will be on hand to provide medical assessment to evacuees arriving in Thunder Bay, to address a range of immediate health needs, and to help relieve pressures for local health providers.  The team will be operational by tomorrow, Friday, July 22. 

All people that are in immediate danger have been evacuated. To date 2,730 people have been moved to safety. Daily evacuations are ongoing, as smoke and flying conditions allow, until the situation improves.  

Ontario thanks the federal government and the armed forces for responding to our requests for assistance in evacuation efforts and for working with us. Provinces and territories have also sent help and resources to Ontario to protect people, homes and to support the evacuation and help contain and extinguish the fires.

Hot, dry weather has created the conditions for forest fires in Northern Ontario, with more than 100 currently burning. Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is working with the Canadian Forces, First Nations communities, municipalities and relief organizations to coordinate efforts to fight the fires and help people who have been forced out of their homes.

Quick Facts

  • There are 2,000 firefighters and support staff currently involved in fire fighting efforts, including about 500 from out of province.
  • There are 16 water bombers and 85 other aircraft involved in the fire fighting operations.
  • The EMAT deployment is being supported by the City of Toronto's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) unit which will support set up and maintenance.

Additional Resources


“A great many provincial and federal resources are being deployed to help fellow Ontarians in their time of need. I am impressed by the cooperative, dedicated efforts of all those involved in the evacuations and who are keeping First Nations residents safe.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“Our first priority is protecting people. Suppression action is being taken to protect Ontarians and our communities on a priority basis. This is an extremely difficult situation and is affecting the lives of many Ontarians. It is not an easy situation for anyone affected by the fires or for firefighters and other personnel working to coordinate the evacuations and extinguish fires.”

Linda Jeffrey

Minister of Natural Resources

“Our thoughts are with the evacuees facing this challenging time. We are proud that the Emergency Medical Assistance Team will work with the community and local health care providers to support health care services to evacuees.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Media Contacts

  • Ministry of Natural Resources

  • Media calls only, Greg MacNeil

    Minister's Office


  • Media Desk

    Communications Services Branch


  • Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

  • Joe Kim

    Minister's Office


  • Greg Flood

    Communications Branch




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