Fire ban now in place for most of northern Manitoba, all of northern Sask., fires continue growth

Planning to have a campfire or shoot some fireworks in northern Manitoba? Don't plan on it right now. A fire ban is now in place for most of Manitoba, including for northern districts, as forest fires continue to grow.

Level three fire and travel restrictions are now in effect for the fire protection area covering Flin Flon, meaning tight limits on fires and backcountry activity in an attempt to stop possible fires. The restrictions are in place for areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 16 - Flin Flon, Pukatawagan, Sherridon and Snow Lake are covered by area 13.

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Province-issued burning permits have been cancelled and campfires will not be permitted, along with backcountry travel without a travel permit and camping outside developed campgrounds. Cabin owners will still be able to get to their cabins as long as they are located on or near designated roads - travel to more remote cabins will require province-issued permits.

Fireworks are prohibited in all provincial parks, with existing authorization cancelled during the fire ban. No other authorization will be issued under current fire restrictions.

Saskatchewan has had a fire ban covering all provincial parks and recreation areas, with municipalities like Creighton and Denare Beach also issuing their own fire bans.

Less severe level two restrictions are in place for areas 9, 10, 11 and 12 - area 12 covers Cranberry Portage, Clearwater Lake, Waless and most of Grass River Provincial Park. Under those restrictions, campfires are permitted but only from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. Wayside parks will stay open and boat landing and lauching will be limited to developed shore areas.

The closest fire to Flin Flon is the Alir fire, located on the west shore of Amisk Lake near Muskeg Bay.  The fire is over 2,000 hectares in size. The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency has the Alir fire classified as "protecting values". Another small fire, called the Hamell fire, was reported earlier this week north of Creighton and hit a maximum size of about half hectare before being contained.

In Manitoba, the WE038 fire is the largest nearby blaze, burning near Kississing Lake about 30 kilometres north of Flin Flon. That fire is now over 2,000 hectares in size and is currently considered as "out of control" by Manitoba Conservation and Climate.

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