Fire bans are being lifted in Saskatchewan, but some level of fire restrictions are still in place in northern Manitoba.
Saskatchewan lifted its provincial fire ban July 19, 17 days after calling it in the first place. Municipalities were allowed to have their own restrictions or bans in place in lieu of the provincial lift. While local officials in Creighton and Denare Beach kept their fire bans in place after the July 19 change, both communities lifted those bans earlier this week.
“Effective immediately, the fire ban for the Town of Creighton has been lifted,” reads a statement from the Town July 26.
“The Village of Denare Beach has rescinded the municipal fire ban. Thank you for your cooperation,” reads a similar statement made by the Village of Denare Beach July 27.
A municipal fire ban is still in place for Flin Flon and has stayed in place since July 16.
Areas 12 and 13, which covers Flin Flon, Bakers Narrows, Snow Lake, Cranberry Portage, Clearwater Lake, The Pas, Thompson and all other communities in the extended area, are under Level 2 fire and travel restrictions due to fire danger. Provincial burning permits are cancelled, as are authorizations for fireworks and non-permitted backcountry travel. Restrictions for Area 13 are similar to those already in place in Manitoba provincial parks.
In Manitoba provincial parks, campfires are only allowed between 8 p.m.-8 a.m. and can only be made in approved fire pits. Cooking with charcoal briquettes, which was previously against fire restrictions, is now approved but also only from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. Gas appliances like propane barbecues and stoves can be used at all times.
Motorized backcountry travel can only be done by people with approved travel permits and no backcountry camping is permitted for now - picnic areas, beaches, campgrounds and other “front-country” areas are still open. Boats, jet skis and other watercraft can only land and launch on developed shorelines, while access to remote cottages is restricted to travel permit holders - the permits can only be issued at a conservation officer’s discretion.
In areas where Level 2 restrictions are in place, having fires without burning permits can lead to hefty fines - up to $10,000 for people, up to $50,000 for companies and corporations. People responsible for starting fires that spread and become wildfires can also be held liable for costs for fighting the blazes.