Rainfall helps in fight against wildfire in northwestern Ontario, official says

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RED LAKE, Ont. — Heavy rain has helped firefighters in the battle against a wildfire that has forced the evacuation of a town in northwestern Ontario.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says about 12 millimetres of rain fell yesterday and more is expected throughout the day today.

Fire information officer Chris Marchand says that has helped keep the fire known as Red Lake 49 at 552 hectares in size and about three kilometres from Red Lake.

But Marchand cautions that the thunderstorms and wind gusts could worsen the fire despite the rain.

The province has also issued an order that requires the evacuation of all non-essential people in the region.

Mayor Fred Mota has said about 4,000 residents have left on their own, but about 100 people have remained.