|May 9, 2016FIRE BULLETIN #6
The Wildfire Program of Manitoba Sustainable Development advises winds are continuing to drive wildfires in the province.
Eastern Region The wildfire northeast of Caddy Lake on the Manitoba/Ontario border has increased in size to approximately 2,800 hectares (ha).
Conservation officers, staff from the Office of the Fire Commissioner and local fire department personnel are going door-to-door at cottages to support the evacuation and safety of area residents, as well as to place sprinkler systems at cabins in Caddy, West Hawk, Florence and Nora lakes and McDougall’s Landing.
The east shore of Caddy Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park is closed until further notice and evacuation orders have been issued.
Approximately seven residences have been evacuated in the West Hawk Lake area and three homes in the Caddy Lake area. PR 312 remains closed.
The Beresford Lake fire has also increased in size to approximately 50,000 ha. Sprinkler protection continues on cabins in the area. The mandatory evacuation of the Beresford cottage subdivision of Nopiming Provincial Park continues.
An evacuation order has been issued for Wallace Lake, which affects 61 cottages and one lodge. Officials are monitoring conditions at Long Lake closely.
The Beresford and Wallace lake campgrounds are closed until wildfire conditions improve.
Approximately 100 officials are working to protect cabins and property throughout the area. Thirty Manitoba firefighters are assigned to the fire at Beresford Lake, and nine water bombers and four helicopters have been deployed to fight fires in the area.
Manitoba Sustainable Development, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Southeast Whiteshell Fire Department and the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner continue co-operative suppression efforts on these border area wildfires.
Travel restrictions remain in place in eastern Manitoba including the Mars Hill Wildlife Management area. Motorized back country travel is prohibited between the hours of noon to 7 p.m. in these areas. Any travel outside of these set times must be under the authority of a travel permit issued by a conservation officer.
In the Whiteshell Provincial Park, the Hunt Lake, Mantario and McGillivray Falls hiking trails are closed until wildfire conditions improve.
All burning permits are cancelled and no new permits will be issued for eastern and central Manitoba until conditions improve. The affected areas are from the United States border on the south, through the Interlake to Gypsumville and Berens River in the north and east to the Ontario border.
Burning permits are cancelled in western Manitoba including the Turtle Mountain and Spruce Woods provincial parks as well as the area from the west shore of Lake Winnipegosis to the Saskatchewan border including the Duck Mountains and Porcupine Hills north to the Overflowing River. No new permits will be issued until conditions improve.
Travel restrictions are also in place in western Manitoba for the Spruce Woods Provincial Park and Spruce Woods Provincial Forest areas, Camp Hughes and the Spruce Woods Wildlife Refuge near CFB Shilo. Restrictions for this area include: • having no back-country travel or remote cottage access unless approved by a travel permit; • allowing camping only in developed campgrounds; and • restricting launching and landing boats to developed shorelines.
Health Effects of Smoke
Smoke levels from forest fires may vary considerably due to fire conditions and wind directions.
Exposure to smoke can cause sore eyes, tears, cough and a runny nose. If the smoke lasts days to weeks or is very heavy, it can cause lung problems and a longer-lasting cough.
Young children, the elderly and people with heart or lung conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and congestive heart failure are more sensitive to the adverse effects of exposure to smoke.
To reduce the effects of smoke, Manitobans can limit outdoor activities, especially if it makes one tired or short of breath. Stay inside and keep windows and doors closed. Limit any strenuous indoor activities if you have been exposed to smoke and avoid cigarette smoke.
For more information about the health effects of smoke, talk to your health-care provider or call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll free) 1-888-315-9257 or visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/wildlandfiresmoke.html.
Support for Fort McMurray
The Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) advises that in response to a request for assistance from the Alberta government, members of Manitoba’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, Canada Task Force 4 (CAN TF-4) will have support crews working in the Fort McMurray command centre.
Twenty-two members of the Manitoba team left this morning for Alberta to help co-ordinate the multi-agency response to the emergency, as well as offer relief to other responders.
In Manitoba, a total of 54 wildfires have been recorded to date. The average for this date is 77.
Open fires (fires outside of an approved firepit) are prohibited. In most provincial parks, fires are permitted in approved firepits. In the Birds Hill Provincial Park, campfires will only be allowed in the approved firepits between the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
For further general information on the fire situation or current restrictions go to www.manitoba.ca/wildfire or follow www.twitter.com/mbgovnews.
For additional information on restrictions in eastern Manitoba, contact the eastern region office at 204-345-1444. For information on restrictions in Ontario, call 1-807-548-1919.
To report a wildfire, call 911 or the T.I.P. line (toll-free) at 1-800-782-0076. The T.I.P. line is dedicated for reporting fires only. All other inquiries should be directed to the other phone lines noted above.