Authorities watch wildfires as hot, dry weather envelops Manitoba


WINNIPEG – The forest fire season in Manitoba started earlier this year, and now the hot and dry conditions are causing some concern.

Several large forest fires broke out in the province during May and June, including in and around Winnipeg, the Whiteshell area and the RM of Piney.

“It was very scary for us,” said Reeve Wayne Anderson.

“It was less than two and a half kilometers from the settlement centers, so it was not a good thing, but we live in a wooded area here. It is a very beautiful region to live in, but when it is dry there is a risk of forest fires.

In addition to drought conditions, the province is currently in the midst of a heat wave with daytime highs in their 30s.

The heated dome moved to Manitoba after wreaking havoc in British Columbia, where the village of Lytton was destroyed by fire just days after breaking heat records.

This hot, dry weather in Manitoba increases the risk of forest fires.

“We can see that July and August are very busy,” said David Schafer, director of the Manitoba Wildfire Service.

“We really need significant rainfall throughout the province, especially in the southern and central areas where we’ve been in these drought conditions to really change the situation.”

So far, there have been 122 fires in Manitoba this season, which is below the 20-year average, but many of them have been significant.

“It was a difficult spring season, with many large fires all happening at the same time until mid-May, which kept us busy throughout May and much of June,” he said. Schafer said.

These conditions are also causing stress for farmers, harvests are suffering, although Keystone Agricultural Producers vice president Jake Ayre has said it is not yet time to panic.

“I would say if we see a continuous pattern without moisture, things could potentially change, but I mean, in agriculture and farming, this is the battle that we are constantly facing,” Ayre said.

“It’s never just the right amount of moisture.”

The RM of Piney is monitoring these conditions closely, but remains optimistic.

“We dry up quickly here because of the heat. There will be problems in the near future, but luckily we forecast a little cooler temperatures next week and maybe a little rain too, ”said Anderson.

The Manitoba Wildfire Service said it is now seeing a number of lightning-triggered fires, mostly east of Lake Winnipeg, so it is focusing its efforts there. He is also monitoring a number of large forest fires just across the border in Ontario.


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