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GREENSTONE, ONT.— In a cramped high-school kitchen on the Ginoogaming First Nation reserve, Krista Taylor fries bacon and toasts bread, making breakfast for close to 100 forest-fire evacuees.
She labours in the kitchen with two other women from the reserve who have worked the eight-hour shift that starts at 7 a.m. Some evacuees are asleep in nearby classrooms and the gym, while a few others chat by the school’s front doors.
Ginoogaming, with an on-reserve population of about 160 people, has stepped up to feed and house evacuees from the Sandy Lake First Nation, where forest fires rage. The community near Greenstone, Ont., about 250 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, opened its doors when more than 1,600 people were flown out of Sandy Lake this week, after the government deemed the level of smoke blowing from nearby fires was too treacherous.
For Ms. Taylor, the choice to help was simple. “I like cooking and it’s good to help these people,” she said, wearing a name tag on her T-shirt reading “cook.” It’s been about a decade since she worked at an evacuation this large in the area.