Manitoba Highway 10 remains closed south of The Pas today due to a growing forest fire, but The Pas RCMP are warning drivers to not dodge roadblocks and try and drive on the closed road.
According to a July 30 news release from Manitoba RCMP, barricades are in place on each side of the fire, which is about 25 kilometres away from the junction of Highways 10 and 60, but a small group of drivers have intentionally dodged the roadblocks.
"Barricades are in place, however The Pas RCMP is aware of motorists going around the barricades to travel on the closed highways," reads the news release.
"This is a significant safety issue and the RCMP strongly advises everyone to take the alternate routes available and stay off the closed highways."
In a statement made by The Pas Fire Department July 30, the fire will likely lead to the affected portion of Highway 10 being closed throughout the entire long weekend, opening August 3 at the earliest.
"Both sides of Highway 10 are being actioned by fire crews and visibility is nil," reads The Pas Fire Department's statement.
"As such, RCMP are reinforcing road barricades and travel is not permitted through this area for the foreseeable future. Travellers are advised to make alternate arrangements."
The area of Highway 10 that is closed is the stretch from the junction with Highway 60 to Westray, about halfway between the junction and The Pas. The fire has burned across the highway in several areas south of Westray.
Manitoba's provincial highway map had previously listed the wrong part of the highway as closed - on Friday afternoon, the highways map had shown the closed section of the road was actually the part between The Pas and Westray, which is not near the area affected by the fire.
According to Manitoba Conservation and Climate, the fire responsible for the closure - now dubbed the WE080 fire - has grown to over 400 hectares in size. The fire is believed to be natural in cause and was first detected July 28. The blaze caused the highway to be closed in the afternoon July 29 - as of July 30, the highway was still closed according to the provincial highway hotline. The WE080 fire is currently listed as "out of control" and is undergoing a "full" response, according to Manitoba Conservation and Climate. The fire is burning on both sides of Highway 10 in some sections.
No reports of any injuries or property damage as a result of the WE080 fire have been announced.
The rest of Highway 10, including sections between Flin Flon and The Pas, remains open, as does Highway 6.