Manitoba implements stricter fire, travel restrictions as fire danger levels remain high

A sign warning of a fire ban near Zhoda, Man. (CTV News Photo Josh Crabb)

The Manitoba government is implementing stricter fire and travel restrictions in some parts of the province due to the high to extreme fire danger levels.

The following restrictions are in effect as of Tuesday, July 20 at 8 a.m.:

  • All provincial burning permits are still cancelled across the entire province. New permits won’t be issued until conditions improve.

Area 4 is now under Level 4 fire and travel restrictions, this means:

  • No access is permitted and a travel ban is in effect;
  • No access to cottages;
  • Permanent residents have to be ready to leave on an hour’s notice; and
  • Campfires are not allowed.

Area 4 covers the area north of the Wanipigow River, east of Lake Winnipeg to the Ontario Border, and north to Poplar River.

Areas 1,2,3,5,6,7 and 8 are under Level 3 restrictions, which means:

  • All back-country travel is prohibited unless under the authority of a travel permit;
  • Camping is only allowed on developed campgrounds;
  • Campfires are not allowed; and
  • Access to cottages is only allowed through designated roads. Travel permits will be required for remote cottages.

Areas 9,10,11,12, 13, 14 and 16 are under Level 2 fire are travel restrictions, meaning:

  • Motorized back-country 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 only allowed between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.;
  • Wayside parks are open; and
  • Landing and launching is restricted to developed shorelines.

Area 15 is under Level 1 restrictions, which means:

  • Campfires are only allowed between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.; and
  • Motorized back-country travel is not allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., unless approved by a travel permit.

For areas under Level 2 and 3 restrictions, industry and outfitters could also be restricted in their operations, and should contact their local Manitoba Conservation and Climate office for more information.

Manitoba notes that campfires aren’t allowed in provincial parks that are located outside of the fire and travel restriction areas.

The province added that fireworks and sky lanterns are prohibited in provincial parks at all times. In order to use fireworks or sky lanterns in fire and travel restriction areas, Manitobans need provincial fireworks authorization. All existing authorizations are cancelled and no new authorizations will be issued under the current restrictions.

Manitoba notes that a number of municipalities have implemented burning restrictions. It urges people to check with their local municipal offices for more details or to find more information online. 

The province doesn’t issue burning permits within municipalities or bordering municipalities with burning restrictions already in place.

More information on the areas and their restrictions can be found through an online map. 

WINNIPEG FIRE BAN

A fire ban is currently in effect in Winnipeg, prohibiting outdoor fires.

Under this ban, Winnipeggers cannot use open fires, fire pits in backyards and city parks, fireworks, and solid fuel-burning appliances.

Existing permits for open fires and fireworks are suspended and no new permits will be issued during the fire ban.

Anyone who violates these rules could face a $500 fine.

The city notes that people are still allowed to use backyard barbecues, fire tables and household smokers fueled by propane or natural gas. Residents must exercise caution at all times.

The fire ban went into effect on July 14 and is in place until July 28 at 6 p.m.