All Manitobans are urged to use extra caution and be mindful of any activity that could result in a wildfire starting and quickly getting out of control in the current extremely dry conditions. There are drought conditions across much of southern Manitoba, which can allow wildfires to spread out of control quickly, challenge the ability to fight multiple fires at the same time, and put people, property and other values at risk. Everyone is urged to be Fire Smart and reduce the potential for any human caused fires.
Travel restrictions are now in place for Areas 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 as well as the Lauder Sandhills Wildlife Management Area within the Rural Municipality of Grassland, the Duck Mountain Provincial forest and includes all provincial parks south of the 53rd parallel, which includes all provincial parks south of Grand Rapids and Easterville.
The area of travel restrictions is bordered by PR 302 to PTH 12 to PR 317 to PTH 59 and PR 319 on the west, all the way to the Ontario border, and from the U.S. border north to the Dauphin River and Berens River. In southwest Manitoba, restrictions cover the area from PTH 10 and PR 268 on the west, north to Lake Winnipegosis to PR 327 to the south shore of Cedar Lake and north shore of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Winnipeg on the east, and south to PR 271 to Lake Winnipegosis (south shore) to Lake Manitoba (north shore) to Lake St. Martin/Dauphin River and Dauphin River to Berens River and now also includes the Duck Mountain Provincial forest.
A map of these restrictions can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/sd/fire/Restrictions/index.html.
Level 2 travel restrictions include the following:
• motorized backcountry travel, including ATVs and other off-road vehicles, is prohibited unless under the authority of a travel permit;
• camping is restricted to developed campgrounds;
• campfires are permitted only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.;
• wayside parks remain open;
• landing and launching is restricted to developed shorelines only; and
• industry and outfitters should contact local Conservation and Climate offices for more information.
Many municipalities have already proactively implemented burning restrictions this spring, so also check with local municipal offices for more information or view the interactive Current Municipal Burning Restrictions at www.manitoba.ca/wildfire/burn_conditions.html. The province will not issue any burning permits within, or areas bordering any municipality where the burning restrictions are already in place.
For further information on the fire status, maps, travel restrictions, burning permit cancellations or other restrictions go to www.gov.mb.ca/wildfire/ or follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MGGovNews.
To report a wildfire, call 911 or the T.I.P. line (toll-free) at 1-800-782-0076. The T.I.P. line is dedicated for reporting fires.