News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

May 15, 2012

FIRE UPDATE #2



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.

Strong winds and low humidity will continue to challenge firefighting efforts.  High temperatures are forecast for later in the week with little or no precipitation until Saturday.

Anyone living, working, camping or travelling in these areas is advised to use extreme caution and to avoid starting any fires.

Badger Fire

As the result of strong winds last night, the fire near the community of Badger grew to approximately 5,300 hectares in size.  At this time, all firefighting efforts to protect the community have been successful.  Provincial and municipal officials continue to focus efforts to strengthen the fire lines and build fire guards to protect the community.

Municipal fire crews continue to be supported by more than 73 forest firefighters from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship along with nine bulldozers to cut fire lines.  Substantial air resources are also in place including four water bombers, four single‑engine air tankersand five helicopters.

Two water bombers from Minnesota are also providing support.  Two additional water bombers from Quebec and an additional 40 firefighters from British Columbia are expected to arrive in Manitoba 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 on Sunday.  Sixteen individuals remain evacuated until further notice.  RM 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.

Vita Fire

Municipal fire crews from eastern Manitoba, with the assistance of the OFC, continue to work on a large fire of approximately 4,100 ha located in the RM of Stuartburn.  This fire is located south of PTH 201. 

The RM has declared a state of local emergency to help manage the situation.  A command post has been established at Vita to assist the co-ordination of the fire department’s mutual-aid response.

Good progress was made on this fire on Monday.  Control lines held during the high winds overnight and fire lines are continuing to be monitored through the day. 

Marchand Fire

Work continues to put out a fire south of Marchand, which is now approximately 1,100 ha in size.  No structures are threatened at this time.

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

Travel Restrictions

Travel restrictions continue in areas of eastern Manitoba.  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 those in provincial parks, will only be allowed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. in approved fire pits only. 

Areas affected by the restrictions include the areas from the Manitoba-U.S. border in the south to the Bloodvein/Gammon River including Bissett and Hollow Water in the north, 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.

For information on travel restrictions, contact the local Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship office or call 1-204-345-1444.  For information on fire prevention and current fire updates, visit www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/fire/Prevention/prevention.html

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