A state of emergency has been declared in the town of Temagami, about 100 kilometres north of North Bay, where crews are battling a forest fire.  

Police and municipal officials say a mandatory evacuation order is in place for people on the south boundary of Temagami to Jesse Lake. Those residents have been advised to go north.

The arena in Temagami North is open for people to take shelter from the forest fire.

People living between Finlayson Point Provincial Park and Jesse Lake have been told to leave because of the encroaching fire and smoke.

Hydro has been shut off to around 400 customers and people in 20 homes have been evacuated along with local provincial parks.

Officials say if the weather continues to cooperate, power may be able to be restored in the next couple hours.

Acting Mayor, Dan O'mara, says the fires started as a result of lightning.

“Luckily the crews were on the access road fighting another fire, so they were immediately there. The MNRF have been excellent with that. Resources are coming in and I think there's another 20, there's a special team coming in tomorrow. We got 100 people coming in on Wednesday and Friday and they are bringing in the resources in this area, as a hotspot in Ontario.”  said O’Mara.

A blanket of smoke now covers Temagami and surrounding areas.

“The smoke was coming directly over our island and so that was the fear, is that where the fire was this huge plume of smoke, that's where the fire is going.” said evacuated resident Allyson Gair.

Water bombers with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are trying to keep the fire from growing.