News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

May 14, 2012

FIRE UPDATE #1



Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship is introducing backcountry travel restrictions in the eastern region effective immediately.  Backcountry travel is now allowed by permit only.

All burning permits already issued have been cancelled.  New burning permits will not be issued.  All forest, mining and quarry operations will only be allowed to operate by permit.  Campfires, including campfires in provincial parks, will only be allowed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. in approved fire pits only.  For information on the travel restrictions, contact the local Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship office or call 1-204-345-1444.

The restrictions affect areas in eastern Manitoba.  This includes the areas from the Manitoba-U.S. border in the south to the Bloodvein/Gammon River including Bissett and Hollow Water in the north, and east of La Broquerie, Richer and the Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation, and along the eastern edge of Lake Winnipeg to the Ontario boundary.  This includes Whiteshell, Nopiming, Moose Lake, Wanipigow, Wallace Lake, Manigotagan River and south Atikaki provincial parks and the Northwest Angle and Sandilands provincial forests.

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC), the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and rural municipalities continue to respond to wildfires in southeastern Manitoba.

The fire danger continues to be high in the southeast region of the province due to low relative humidity, high temperatures and high winds.  Anyone living, working, camping or travelling in these areas is advised to use extreme caution and to avoid starting any fires.

The main fire of concern is a large, approximately 5,000-hectare (ha) fire northeast of Carrick and southeast of Wood Ridge and Vita.  Provincial and municipal officials are focusing efforts to protect the community of Badger.

Municipal fire crews continue to be supported by more than 60 forest firefighters from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship along with six bulldozers to cut fire lines.  Substantial air resources are also in place including six water bombers and three helicopters.  Two additional water bombers from Quebec are expected to arrive later today to assist firefighting efforts.

The province has established a command post at Marchand to co-ordinate the provincial and municipal response to this fire.

The Rural Municipality (RM) of Piney ordered the evacuation of the community of Badger last night to ensure the safety of area residents.  Sixteen individuals remain evacuated until further notice.

The RM of Piney has also declared a state of local emergency to help manage the wildfire situation in the area.  Travel is restricted to municipal and provincial roads.

Municipal fire crews from eastern Manitoba, with the assistance of the OFC, continue to work on a large fire located southeast of Vita in the RM of Stuartburn.  This fire is located south of PTH 201.  A command post has been established at Vita to assist the co-ordination of the fire department’s mutual-aid response.

In addition, work continues to put out a 400-ha fire south of Marchand.  No structures are threatened at this time.

No official causes of the fires have been determined at this time, but fire investigators continue to look into possible causes.

For information on fire prevention and current fire updates, visit www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/fire/Prevention/prevention.html.

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