The Manitoba Wildfire Service advises that wildfire danger in central and eastern Manitoba is high to extreme, and low to moderate across northern Manitoba. Favourable weather conditions and precipitation are expected in northern Manitoba over the next 48 hours.
There are nine active wildfires currently burning in Manitoba. The Manitoba Wildfire Service is working with ground crews and aircraft to suppress a fire approximately two to three kilometres south of Cross Lake/Pimicikamak Cree Nation. Due to unfavourable wind conditions and extreme fire behaviour, there was an increase in the size of the fire which included movement toward the community.
Overnight there was a change in those conditions, including precipitation and a shift in the wind direction. Favourable conditions are expected over the next 48 hours. Some evacuations of high-risk community members have been co-ordinated through the Canadian Red Cross, but decisions about community evacuation are made at the local level, with information from the wildfire service. Media reports indicate some of the 7,000 residents of Pimicikamak who were evacuated Wednesday night to Thompson, The Pas, Brandon and Winnipeg are starting to return home.
Manitobans are reminded to avoid wildfire areas and watch for road closure or detour signs. When using an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in areas where backcountry travel is permitted, ATV operators are asked to stay on developed trails, stop frequently to check areas around the engine and exhaust for debris and carefully dispose of any debris found. Operators are also reminded to be prepared by carrying a fire extinguisher, axe and shovel.
Provincial burning permits are required for outdoor fires set within the Burn Permit Area from April 1 to Nov. 15 annually. Provincial burn permits issued under the Wildfires Act may be cancelled or restricted at short notice if fire danger conditions require. The province will not issue burning permits for areas where municipalities have already implemented burning restrictions.
The public is reminded to contact a local municipality or the local Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development office for more information. Burn permit holders are reminded to check weather conditions, have adequate suppression equipment and ensure proper fuel breaks are in place before burning. Never leave an outdoor fire unattended and always extinguish it before leaving, exercise caution when in or near forested areas.
FireSmart Tip: Install only approved wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, and inserts. Be sure installations are completed according to the manufacturer's recommendations and local regulations. When disposing stove or fireplace ashes, place ashes in a fire-safe container, then dispose of cold ashes in a cleared area free of all flammable material.
Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) continues to work with all local authorities and emergency management partners, including the Manitoba Wildfire Service to provide guidance and support for emergency response activities. Manitoba EMO continues to work closely with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and the Canadian Red Cross in supporting ISC-led response measures with First Nation communities.
For further information on Manitoba Wildfire Service, situation updates, restrictions and other important wildfire links go to www.gov.mb.ca/wildfire/ or follow the Twitter account at https://twitter.com/mbgovnews
To report a wildfire, call 911 or the TIP line (toll-free) at 1-800-782-0076.