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Hundreds told to evacuate homes, cottages as forest fire rages in northeastern Ontario

A water bomber helps crews from Kirkland Lake, Ont., and the province's Natural Resources ministry fight a nearby forest fire on May 21, 2012.

kelly bodick The Globe and Mail

About 300 people remain out of homes and cottages near Kirkland Lake, in northeastern Ontario, which has declared a state of emergency as crews battle a nearby forest fire.

People were told to leave residential and cottage areas at Goodfish and Nettie Lake, about 600 kilometres north of Toronto, for safety reasons on Sunday.

Natural Resources officials say the fire broke out Sunday morning and by Monday had consumed more than 20 square kilometres of forest.

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Crews from the town and Natural Resources aided by water bombers have been battling the blaze. Thick black smoke could be seen for a distance over the surrounding area as warm winds from the south and 30 C temperatures made fighting the fire treacherous.

A temporary shelter for displaced residents has been set up at the Legion in Kirkland Lake.

Police are directing traffic away from the area, and local mining companies have suspended operations.

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