Manitoba imposes restrictions in light of fire danger

Restrictions come two days after 20 homes had to be evacuated because of a wildfire in the Carberry/Shilo area

April 3, 2021, 4:19 pm

The Carberry Fire Department and two other departments responded to a wildfire that led to the evacuation of 20 households Thursday

Because of extremely dry conditions and high wildfire danger levels, The Manitoba Wildfire Service said Saturday Level 2 travel restrictions will take effect immediately across the southwest and eastern regions of the province.

The restrictions include a ban on ATVs and other off-road vehicles in certain areas to avoid fires being started from sparks.

The restrictions come two days after a wildfire in the Carberry/Shilo area forced the evacuation of 20 homes.

The boundary of the restricted area is from PR 302 to PTH 12 to PR 317 to PTH 9 and PR 319 east to the Ontario border, and from the U.S. border north to Lake Winnipeg and the Winnipeg River including the Mars Hill Wildlife Management

Area. Similar restrictions are in place for the Turtle Mountain and Spruce Woods provincial parks, Spruce Woods provincial forest and the surrounding Crown land. Also affected are Moose Lake, Birch Point, Marchand, Woodridge, Whiteshell, Whitemouth Falls, William Lake and Criddle/Vane Homestead provincial parks.

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 Manitoba Conservation and Climate offices for more information.

As a further wildfire prevention measure, provincial burn permits issued under the Wildfires Act within the same areas will be restricted to only essential agricultural, municipal or industrial operations. Burning within these areas will require the approval of an officer, and include a site inspection with strict conditions. Contact a Manitoba Conservation and Climate office for more information.

Many municipalities have already proactively implemented burning restrictions this spring, so also check with local municipal offices for more information. The province will not issue any burning permits within, or areas bordering any municipality where the burning restrictions are already in place.

For areas where ATV use is allowed, riders are reminded they can play a role in protecting against wildfires.

Anyone using an ATV is asked to stay on developed trails, ensure the ATV has a working spark arrestor, check areas around the engine and exhaust frequently, and carefully remove and extinguish any debris from these areas. Operators are also reminded to be prepared by carrying a fire extinguisher, axe and shovel.

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.