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Border blaze north of Flin Flon flares up, local smoke expected through weekend

Fire crews from Manitoba and Saskatchewan are fighting off a flare-up with a blaze burning across the provincial border, about 37 kilometres north of Flin Flon.
N30 Fires 2
A fire helicopter - complete with water bucket hanging below - flies over Denare Beach July 24.

Fire crews from Manitoba and Saskatchewan are fighting off a flare-up with a blaze burning across the provincial border, about 37 kilometres north of Flin Flon.

Around Flin Flon, the WE050 and Richard fire complex - consisting of two fires, each starting on one side of the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border, which joined together - has reached about 10,000 hectares in size. While the fire was considered "contained" as of earlier this week by both the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) and the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (CWFIS), the fire has picked up on its eastern flank. New hotspots have been reported Wednesday and Thursday, burning toward the far west shore of Kississing Lake, north of French Lake.

Efforts to fight the fire are being focused on protecting remote cabins, lodges and other properties in the area. Weather conditions for the weekend include a 30 per cent chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm Thursday night, but hot, sunny and dry weather into early next week, including highs in the low 30s expected Saturday.

According to smoke forecasts from firesmoke.ca, smoke from the WE050/Richard fire and the WE019 fire, burning east of Pukatawagan around Highrock Lake, will cover Flin Flon intermittently over the weekend. Wind coming from the northeast is likely to blow smoke from both fires into the Flin Flon area.

"Wind conditions over the next 24 to 48 hours may produce increased smoke activity in Flin Flon. Local fire crews are focusing on protecting several remote properties in the area," reads an August 18 fire update from the province and Manitoba Wildfire Services.

"Estimated at 2,300 hectares in size, MWS is working with crews from Saskatchewan to enhance fire protection in the area."