Wildland fire in Winnipeg grew to size of three football fields: city

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Members of the Winnipeg Firefighter Paramedic Service responded to a grass and brush fire on Monday night, which grew to the size of three football fields.

Crews were called to the fire, which was near the intersection of Centreport Canada Way and Sturgeon Access Road, just before 8:20 p.m. When crews arrived, the fire was the fire was the size of a football field. However, it eventually grew to be nearly the size of three football fields.

According to the City of Winnipeg, the fire was spreading quickly as wind speeds reached over 40 km/h.

To attack the fire and protect surrounding areas, crews used specialized equipment. They also used a drone for situational awareness and to detect hot spots.

The fire was declared under control just before midnight. Crews cleared the scene just before 1 a.m. on Tuesday.

 PREVENTION

With Winnipeg’s current dry conditions and lack of precipitation, residents are asked to be cautious in order to prevent wildland and grass fires.

Winnipeggers are not allowed to burn yard waste, garbage, or scrap materials within city limits, and doing so could result in a fine. If wind speeds exceed 25 km/h, fires can’t be started, even if a person has a proper fire permit or is using an approved pit.

Winnipeggers are urged not to dispose of their smoking materials in any sort of vegetation or by tossing them out of a car window. Butts should never be put out in planter pots.

In order to protect businesses and homes, proper landscaping and vegetation management is necessary, especially when conditions are dry. This includes thinning and pruning vegetation, removing trees and converting to fire-resistant plants, and cleaning up brush, leaves, grass and debris. It’s also important to water the plants and vegetation surrounding your home.

The city also suggests storing firewood at least 10 metres away from structures and making sure outdoor fire receptacles are in an open area away from overhanging vegetation.

Winnipeg’s guidelines for outdoor fire receptacles, and the rules regarding fires within these receptacles can be found online.