Two days of rain significantly reduce the risk of fire in the southeast –


While wildfires threaten communities in northern Manitoba, the situation down here is very different, a provincial spokesperson says.

Glenn Miller is the Eastern Region Wildfire Superintendent. He says the fire danger in southeastern Manitoba is currently quite low.

“Sandilands is in a good position at the moment compared to the rest of the province,” says Miller. “Overall and based on other conditions across the province, we look to be in good shape.”

Miller says two days of rain in the Southeast is very welcome. He points out that not only will this reduce the threat and fire danger in the southeast, but it will also allow the province to send assistance to other parts of Manitoba battling fires.

“It’s much needed, we appreciate it, and it’s very timely for us right now,” Miller added.

Miller said there is currently no major risk of wildfires being caused by lightning strikes in southeastern Manitoba.

“Our current levels and conditions this spring season are typically not conducive to lightning,” Miller added.

But Miller says the northwestern part of the province is a different story. He notes that conditions there are much drier and fires are caused by lightning strikes. He notes that fires in the Southeast are largely caused by humans.

A provincial burn permit is required for outdoor fires set within the burn permit area from April 1 to November 15 annually. Click here to check municipal burn restrictions. Burn permit holders are reminded to check weather conditions before burning, have adequate firefighting equipment, and ensure proper fuel shutoffs are in place. Never leave an outdoor fire unattended and always extinguish it before leaving. Use caution when in or near wooded areas.

Miller urges ATV riders to regularly inspect their machines and ensure they have proper spark arrestors. You should remove all residues and materials from your exhaust system and also check the engine and exhaust regularly.

“The other important part would be to always look backwards,” he says.

Miller points out that fires caused by all-terrain vehicles are rarely intentional, but often go unnoticed because the driver doesn't look behind them.

Miller said southeastern Manitoba is currently about 80 per cent green. He figures this is likely a higher percentage than normal for this time of year.

“This is an extremely positive thing,” he adds.

Miller said the spring fire season in the Southeast always worries him. But he says under current conditions they have an advantage, meaning the next threat is lightning strikes. However, Miller points out that fires caused by lightning strikes are not that common in our area.