Posted on: July 24, 2017 |
Excerpts from the Western Canadian Game Warden Magazine Summer 2017 Issue
The fire was reported through 911 by some hikers in the back country near Marion Lake. It was approximately 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The initial attack crew who were flying to the fire by helicopter described the fire as being quite large and it was growing very fast. I quickly disengaged from the fire investigation and headed to the south Whiteshell approximately 40 kilometers to the east along the Trans Canada Highway. En-route, I could easily see the column of smoke the fire was putting up. The fire center had dispatched 2 CL 415 water bombers from our Gimli Base and 2 more were dispatched from Ontario and soon, 2 more would arrive from Winnipeg. Added to this, 4 Single Engine Air Tankers were dispatched from Lac du Bonnet. A total of 10 aircraft would be attacking the fire from air dropping countless loads of water, foam and long term retardant. The fire was growing quite aggressively as it was being pushed by strong westerly winds, it was so hot and out of control that ground crews were not put on the fire for safety reasons. Even the water bombers had limited effect as they were only able to work the flanks of the fire.
With people in the immediate vicinity of the fire evacuated, attention was given to protecting the many cottages and resorts in the fire’s path. Teams were made up of fire fighters from the SEWFD, Manitoba Wildfire Crews, Conservation Officers, Park Officials and assistance from fire departments throughout South Eastern Manitoba. All would converge to the SEWFD hall for assignment. Ontario crews worked on values east of our border. Local businesses in the West Hawk and Falcon Lake area not affected by the evacuations would provide food and lodging for many of the fire fighters. A great community effort was underway to protect the many values in the park!
For the full story, pick up the summer issue of the Western Canadian Game Warden magazine which is available at the Caddy Lake Resort, Nite Hawk Restaurant and Keystone Resort in the South Whiteshell. It is also available on line at: westerncanadiangamewarden.com and at Chapters Book Stores.