As you can see on this map from the Natural Resources Canada, most of southern Manitoba is tinder-dry and wildfire-ripe. Today, at least three wildfires still burn in the southeastern part of the province in spite of the efforts of 12 helicopters, 11 water bombers, 26 pieces of heavy equipment and over 120 firefighters. The largest fire, near Badger, remains out of control and firefighters are concentrating on fire lines to protect the little village. So far, they have been successful. The fire near Vita – my video is here – continues to burn as does the large fire near Marchand. In this picture (left), smoke obscures visibility on PR 201, east of Vita. At this time, firefighting efforts are primarily protecting buildings and property. None of these fires are deemed under control.
The weather yesterday and today has been very hot, windy and dry, reaching 30 degrees in some areas. Rain is promised on Saturday which will help bring the fires under control as long as it is a sustained rain. Wind direction and speed will also be critical over the next 48 hours.
Inside and outside provincial parks in all of eastern Manitoba, the province has imposed backcountry travel restrictions, no-burning orders and, in some cases, will require travel permits to access certain areas. Generally, it’s a good idea to be extra fire cautious everywhere in Manitoba this long weekend. Check out Manitoba Conservation’s latest fire information.