Manitoba imposes restrictions in some areas over high wildfire danger levels

The Province of Manitoba is imposing restrictions across the southwest and eastern regions amid high wildfire danger levels.

The Manitoba Wildfire Service said Level 2 travel restrictions are taking effect immediately from PR 302 to PTH 12 to PR 317 to PTH 59 and PR 319 east to the Ontario border, and from the U.S. border north to Lake Winnipeg and the Winnipeg River including the Mars Hill Wildlife Management Area.

It said similar restrictions are in place in the Spruce Woods provincial park and forest, as well as the surrounding Crown Land. A number of other provincial parks have been restricted as well, including Turtle Mountain, Moose Lake, Birch Point, Marchand, Woodridge, Whiteshell, Whitemouth Falls, William Lake and Criddle/Vane Homestead provincial parks.

ATVS, OFF-ROAD VEHICLES PROHIBITED IN BACKCOUNTRY

In its release on Saturday, the Manitoba Wildfire Service said the restrictions include a ban on motorized backcountry travel, which includes ATVs and other off-road vehicles, unless you have a travel permit.

In the areas where ATVs are allowed, the Manitoba Wildfire Service said drivers can help to prevent fires.

"Anyone using an ATV is asked to stay on developed trails, ensure the ATV has a working spark arrestor, check areas around the engine and exhaust frequently, and carefully remove and extinguish any debris from these areas," the service said.

"Operators are also reminded to be prepared by carrying a fire extinguisher, axe and shovel."

These restrictions come days after a large grassfire forced evacuations in a small residential development about 12 kilometres west of Carberry.

READ MORE: Southwest Manitoba grass fire extinguished; one home damaged

The Carberry North Cypress-Longford Fire Department said in a statement the fire is believed to have been started by an ATV. Due to the dry conditions and high winds – the fire spread quickly. The department said only one home was damaged in the fire.

OTHER RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED IN MANITOBA

The Manitoba Wildfire Service said camping is restricted to developed campgrounds and campfires are allowed only between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

It said landing and launching is restricted to developed shorelines only.

Wayside parks will remain open.

BURN PERMITS BEING RESTRICTED

Provincial burn permits within the restricted areas are being limited to essential agricultural, municipal or industrial operations.

"Burning within these areas will require the approval of an officer, and include a site inspection with strict conditions," The Manitoba Wildfire Service said in a news release, adding more information can be found by contacting the Manitoba Conservation and Climate office.

The service said many municipalities have already put burning restrictions in place. These restrictions can be found by contacting local municipal offices or looking at the province’s online map.

You can report a wildfire by calling 911, or the dedicated fire tip line at 1-800-782-0076.