TFC News

Filipino families affected by Northwest Territories wildfires return home

Zerline Rodriguez | TFC News Yellowknife

Posted at May 31 2023 10:16 PM

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Filipino families who were displaced by the wildfires in the Northwest Territories have been allowed to return home to the Hay River area.

The wildfires are still ongoing but have since been categorized as unlikely to grow.

The fire has destroyed more than 3,000 hectares of land and has damaged at least 15 buildings in the Katlodeeche First Nation.

Several days before they left, the 25 Filipino families were invited to a luncheon by the Philippine Cultural Association of Yellowknife.

The event served as a welcome gesture of the Filipino community in the area to their countrymen affected by the disaster.

"One of the families asked us to have supper with them and to visit them," said Lilia Alcos, a Hay River evacuee. "I really can't say enough thanks to the Yellowknife community."

Some 150 firefighters are still battling the blaze, with 20 of them from Nova Scotia.

The territorial government is also giving $750 for every evacuee who lost their income due to the fires.

While the evacuation alert is still on, Filipinos in Hay River hope that they will not have to leave their homes again for another tragedy.