Three Ontario wildfire evacuees facing assault charges in Saskatchewan

Regina police say three men and one woman who were brought to Saskatchewan as wildfire evacuees from northern Ontario are facing assault charges.

Police say the charges stem from separate calls to the University of Regina campus, where evacuees are being housed.

They say a fight broke out on Friday in one of the residence towers and a 24-year-old man was allegedly assaulted by two men.

Edward Dawson Wade Keeper, who is 19, and Darian Moose, who is 22, are charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Early Saturday, campus security was alerted to the sounds of fighting coming from one of the rooms, where police discovered a 28-year-old woman with serious injuries.

A 29-year-old man who was staying in the same living area has been charged with aggravated assault and disobeying a court order, and police say they are withholding his name to protect the identity of the woman.

Late Sunday, officers responded to the residences and arrested a 27-year-old woman after another woman the same age alleged she was assaulted.

Chelsey Strang appeared in provincial court Monday morning charged with common assault as well as breach of undertaking.

Last week, Saskatchewan agreed to welcome around 2,000 residents from the Pikangikum First Nation in Ontario as a forest fire raged nearby.

Saskatchewan officials said for the most part, those staying in Regina have respectful, although they said there have been some incidents and some minor damage to bedding and flooring at the university.

“Interactions, fighting, those kind of things you would normally see under close environment with people that are under significant duress. So it’s been scrapping, fighting, that kind of stuff,” said Duane McKay of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency.

Games and activities have been set up for the families including outdoor sports activities, swimming and a room with TVs and colouring books.

McKay said the damage costs will be covered by the federal government.

Planning has begun to return the evacuees home.

McKay said storms that passed through the province over the weekend are expected to provide much needed rain to help fight forest fires.

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