May 19, 2010

Manitoba Conservation’s Fire Program is reminding residents of the province to be safe and be careful around all outdoor fires while camping, hiking and enjoying Manitoba’s summer.

To date this spring, the program has recorded 133 fires, 128 human caused and five caused by lightning. 

The 3,500-hectare Berens River fire is located approximately 24 kilometres northeast of the Berens River First Nation. Approximately 30 firefighters and one air-tanker group, consisting of two CL-215 water bombers and a spotter or bird-dog aircraft, are battling the west flank of the fire closest to the community.

Weather patterns, lightning strikes, soil moisture and forest conditions are monitored daily to determine the probability and location of wildfires.  The provincial fleet of seven CL-215 water bombers and six contract helicopters will be available as required along with contract single-engine air tankers.

Open fires are prohibited from April 1 to Nov. 15 annually, unless a burning permit is obtained or in enclosed approved fire pits such as campfire grates in provincial campsites.  Fires must be properly put out.  To properly extinguish a fire, water should be poured on the embers and stirred to make a soup or stew-like mixture in the enclosed pit.

To report fires, call 1-800-782-0076.

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