Andrea Stockton, staff writer
June 25, 2010 — An evacuation warning continues for Cranberry Portage due to heavy smoke from forest fires. In the short video to the left, Duane Feely from Manitoba Conservation gives the details on the current situation.
Thick and heavy smoke from forest fires in Manitoba continues to cause problems. And as a result Manitoba Conservation has advised that an evacuation warning for Cranberry Portage remain in place. Issues with easterly winds on Friday also posed smoke concerns for a campground at Bakers Narrows Provincial Park.
While parts of southern Manitoba have seen record amounts of rain and major flooding in recent weeks, the northern part of the province has been dealing with the opposite extreme. The weather has been hot and dry in recent weeks, and that's resulting in a high forest fire hazard.
So far the fire has scorched about 45,000 hectares of land. Duane Feely is with the Manitoba Conservation. He says they're doing everything they can to get the fire under control. Crews are even being sent in from the U.S.
“We're currently bringing in more resources. Right now we have water bombers from Ontario, we have water bombers from the state of Minnesota, we have ground crews from British Columbia and we're expecting more tomorrow from British Columbia. ”
Feely says come Monday, they're also anticipating crews to arrive from the state of Wisconsin.
The increased risk of forest fires has prompted travel restrictions in several regions. Sherridon access road from Highway 10 east to Sherridon is closed because of smoke and poor visibility from from nearby forest fire. A caution is out for Highway 39 from Highway 10 east to Snow Lake Junction, a one-hundred kilometre stretch, because of poor visibility.
Due to the restrictions, northern back-country travel is only allowed by permit, camping outside an established campground is not allowed, and boat or canoe travel must be along developed shorelines only. Open fires have been banned everywhere, including campgrounds. There is now also a burning permit ban effective in the northeast.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison.