Manitoba has released its first wildfire bulletin; here is what you need to know

The danger of wildfires in southern Manitoba is low to moderate even though municipalities have started to see some fires spark, including in Winnipeg.

The province’s wildfire service released its first fire bulletin of the season Wednesday afternoon. According to the bulletin, the risk of wildfires is even lower in northern Manitoba as some areas are still snow-covered.

“Municipalities and the Manitoba Wildfire Service are starting to see some fires across the south and central regions, but at this point, they have been human-caused,” the bulletin reads.

Winnipeg has already seen a few wildland fires in and around the Perimeter Highway, including a grass fire over the weekend that grew to the size of two football fields.

Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, told CTV News the snow has melted and nothing has greened up yet – perfect conditions for a wildfire.

“Everything is really, really dry,” Lang said. “When we have the winds around, it just fuels the fires and you are off to the races with those grass fires.”

She said wind gusts have been measured by ECCC weather stations as high as 50 km/h to 60 km/h.

This has prompted a warning from the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) that there could be more wildland and grass fires in the coming weeks.

“Right now we do have a lot of dry conditions and it will spread quickly if people don’t take care,” said Scott Wilkinson, assistant chief with the WFPS.

READ MORE: Winnipeg issues warning following grass fire near the Perimeter

The province said in its fire bulletin there are no restrictions in place at the moment.

According to the Manitoba wildfire map, only one fire is burning in the province as of Tuesday. The fire, about 100 hectares in size, was reported near Blacks Point close to Hecla Island and was declared under control as of Tuesday.

No other fires are burning according to the province. To help keep it that way, fire prevention officials were out doing a prescribed burn in Beaudry Provincial Park.

“That’s where we go in and we burn an area of property. It helps with the ecosystem, it helps with all different types of things for nature, etcetera, but it also helps to mitigate and lessen the risk of fire in that area,” said Cailin Hodder, with the province’s wildfire service.

The province reminds Manitobans that burning permits are needed each year for outdoor fires inside the Burn Permit Area from Apr. 1 to Nov. 15.

More information can be found online about the current wildfire conditions and restrictions in Manitoba.

-With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks 

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