News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

May 17, 2012

FIRE UPDATE #4



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

Shifting winds, high temperatures and low humidity will continue to challenge firefighting efforts.  Weather changes could result in moderate to heavy smoke in some areas.

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

Badger Fire

  • The fire near the community of Badger remains approximately 53 square kilometres in size.  At this time, all firefighting efforts to protect the community have been successful.  Provincial and municipal officials continue to focus efforts to maintain the strength of the fire lines to protect the community.
  • Municipal fire crews continue to be supported by more than 80 forest firefighters from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship along with 14 bulldozers to cut fire lines.  Substantial air resources are also in place including four water bombers, four single-engine air tankers and five helicopters.
  • Two additional water bombers from Quebec, along with 40 firefighters from British Columbia, are assisting the firefighting efforts.  A DC-4 aircraft that sprays fire retardant arrived yesterday from the Northwest Territories.
  • The Rural Municipality (RM) of Piney ordered the evacuation of the community of Badger on Sunday.  Sixteen individuals remain evacuated until further notice. The 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 continue to work on a large fire of approximately 41 sq. km located in the RM of Stuartburn.  This fire is located south of PTH 201. 

Marchand Fire

  • Work continues to put out a fire south of Marchand, which remains approximately 11 sq. km 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. 
  • For information on the travel restrictions, contact the local Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship office or call 1-204-345-1444.  A list of local conservation offices is available at  www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/wildlife/about/who.html.

Health Information

  • Smoke levels from fires may vary considerably due to fire conditions and wind direction.  Exposure to smoke can cause sore eyes, tears, coughing and a runny nose.  
  • People who are at higher risk, such as young children, the elderly and people with heart or lung conditions (particularly asthma), should consider taking precautions if conditions are hazy with a smoke odour, if visibility is less than eight kilometres or if they are having symptoms.  Others may wish avoid strenuous activity in these conditions.
  • Manitobans with health questions or concerns can contact their health-care provider or call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free).  More information on the health effects of smoke is available at: www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/smoke.html.

More information on fire prevention and current fire updates is available at www.gov.mb.ca/wildfire/.  The most up-to-date highway information can be found at www.mb511.ca or 1-877-MBRoads (1‑877‑627-6237).  Follow the Manitoba government on Twitter @MBGov or @MBGovRoads for the latest updates.

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