August 31, 2017
FIRE BULLETIN #7
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Elevated Wildfire Conditions
Manitoba Sustainable Development and the Office of the Fire Commissioner advise that hot, dry and windy conditions continue, resulting in elevated wildfire danger levels in many areas of the province. Fire crews from Northwest Territories and Minnesota, along with water bombers from Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, are supporting Manitoba’s wildfire suppression efforts.
As of today, there have been more than 497 fires this season. With many other fires burning across the Prairie provinces and Northwest Territories, parts of Manitoba may experience smoky conditions this week.
A 23,000-hectare (ha) wildfire near Wasagamack remains approximately one kilometre from the community. Strong north winds, high temperatures and low humidity levels pushed the wildfire toward the community of Wasagamack, requiring an evacuation of the communities of Wasagamack, St. Theresa Point and Garden Hill. Fire crews are continuing suppression work on the fire line closest to the community, with crews also working on other spot fires located away from the main fire line.
A wildfire burning near the Fox Lake First Nation is approximately six km from the community and approximately 2,000 ha in size. Fire crews are continuing suppression efforts on this fire.
A 4,600-ha wildfire near Poplar River remains approximately 3.5 km from the community. Warm temperatures and strong winds required the evacuation of the residents as a safety precaution. Fire crews are continuing their suppression efforts on the north flank of this wildfire.
The Canadian Red Cross continues to manage evacuations as part of an agreement between with the federal government to provide disaster assistance to Manitoba First Nations.
No open burning is allowed without a permit between April 1 and Nov. 15. For information on permits and restrictions, Manitobans can contact local Sustainable Development office. Municipalities often implement their own restrictions, so individuals should also check with local municipal offices for further information.
Anyone planning a backcountry trip is reminded that campfires should only be made in designated fire pits. However, a better option is to prepare meals on a lightweight portable cook stove. Campers heading into a remote area should tell someone else where they are going and when they expect to return.
Manitobans are reminded to exercise extreme caution when undertaking any outdoor activities. In areas where all-terrain vehicle use is authorized, stay on developed trails, stop frequently to check areas around the engine and exhaust for debris, and carefully dispose of any debris found. Riders should carry a small shovel, axe and fire extinguisher at all times.
Manitobans can report wildfires by contacting local emergency services at 911 or contacting the forest fire tip line at 1-800-782-0076 (toll-free). More information on wildfire prevention is available at www.gov.mb.ca/wildfire/.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The fire size near Wasagamack in yesterday’s bulletin was noted as 77,000 hectares. The fire was 23,000 hectares, with a perimeter of 77,000 metres.