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PROVINCE INVESTS IN WILDFIRE PREVENTION, MITIGATION AND PREPAREDNESS ACROSS MANITOBA

Posted on: April 8, 2021  |  

The province made the following announcement April 8th.

Promoting Awareness, Additional Staffing,
Protection of Remote Lodges: Guillemard

With the arrival of warmer weather, the province reminds Manitobans to be careful with any spring burning activities and to ensure they have the required burn permits from either their local municipalities or the province, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.

“We all look forward to the warm weather but we must remember that when conditions are dry, the risk of wildfire increases,” said Guillemard. “The Manitoba Wildfire Service and municipalities are getting ready for another season, and we must all do our part to minimize the risks.”

Southern and central Manitoba are especially dry this spring because of low moisture levels last fall before lower-than-normal winter snow accumulations. The dangers of spring wildfires have increased in the central and southern regions of the province due to the dry conditions and as a precaution, restrictions on travel and burning have been implemented in some areas. In areas affected by such conditions, provincial burn permits may be limited to essential burning operations or could be cancelled entirely. The public is reminded to contact their municipalities or their local Manitoba Conservation and Climate offices for updates. The latest information on municipal and provincial burning restrictions can be found at www.manitoba.ca/wildfire. Provincial burn permits will not be issued for areas where municipalities have implemented burning restrictions.

Permit holders are reminded to check weather conditions, have adequate suppression equipment and ensure proper fuel breaks are in place before burning. They should never leave an outdoor fire unattended and always extinguish it before departing.

As Manitobans begin spring cleanups, the province urges caution in their removal of grass and leaves or crop residue from fields.

As part of the Manitoba Wildfire Service’s prevention and mitigation programming efforts, an additional $460,000 has been invested across the province this past year. Recent partnerships include involvement with Partners in Protection/FireSmart Canada in the development of wildfire prevention and mitigation materials that are relatable and relevant to Indigenous communities across Canada. This project includes support for the printing and distribution of Blazing the Trail – Celebrating Indigenous Fire Stewardship, a publication promoting action to ensure wildfire-resilient communities. Also included is support for an exhibit and educational outreach through the Boreal Discovery Centre at Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation’s traditional territory in Thompson. Programming addresses boreal forest fire ecology, fire weather and Indigenous fire management.

The Remote Lodge and Outfitter Mitigation Program is a unique effort to make specialized fire equipment, such as sprinkler systems, available to eligible lodges and outfitters across Manitoba to promote FireSmart planning and preparation. This program will ensure that lodges in remote areas are able to protect themselves from approaching fires prior to support from the Manitoba Wildfire Service.

Other important projects include the development of a comprehensive wildfire management strategy for Whiteshell Provincial Park and upgrades to the Manitoba Wildfire Service weather monitoring stations across the province. The Whiteshell wildfire management strategy has been developed in consultation with many stakeholders, including the Whiteshell Cottagers Association, and will guide provincial efforts in future mitigation and response.

Preparedness efforts include an investment of $774,000 for salaries and other costs to support the hiring of an additional five initial-attack fire crews, consisting of 25 members, for this wildfire season.  These highly mobile crews will be assigned to existing bases around the province for deployment to wherever they are needed. As an important proactive measure, the province will implement a COVID-19 rapid testing program at Manitoba Wildfire Service bases to protect front-line staff and partners.

The province has also recently committed $2.6 million for avionics and communications upgrades to its water bomber fleet, to allow these aircraft to be deployed to the U.S. if assistance is requested and if the aircraft are not needed in Manitoba.

To report a wildfire, call 911, the local emergency number in areas not covered by 911, or the provincial T.I.P. line toll-free at 1-800-782-0076.

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Hello WCA, Here are the new items for today. - Manitoba Hydro released information this afternoon regarding the expected continued high water flows on the Winnipeg River (we have provided the link below and some of the key lake points). The Winnipeg River is expected to crest between June 5-10. Please see www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/ to view the forecast.- The shoreline adjacent to the Pointe du Bois subdivision has been included in the 100 metre from shore prohibition on recreational motor boat use. Whiteshell Provincial Park: May 27, 2022 A local state of emergency has been declared for Whiteshell Provincial Park on May 20, 2022 due to rising water levels within the park. Developed areas at Betula Lake were closed on May 21, 2022. This closure area was expanded (May 24) to include Sylvia Lake, Otter Falls, Dorothy Lake, Barrier Bay and Nutimik Lake areas. No person should reside or enter into the closed area. Please visit the Manitoba Parks Website www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/ to see a map of the closure. This applies to all cottage subdivisions, commercial areas, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and beaches with within the order area. During the closure no person should reside or enter into the closure area of the park. Manitoba Hydro released information this afternoon regarding the expected continued high water flows on the Winnipeg River. Water continues to rise significantly along the lakes that make up the Winnipeg River system (Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and Sylvia Lakes as well as Pointe du Bois) as water moves downstream from Lake of the Woods. Water levels rise quickly in these areas due to natural restrictions along the river. Please see www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/ to view the forecast. Manitoba Hydro is predicating an increase of water levels from the current high water over the next 10 to 14 days, as follows: • 6 inches upstream of Eight Foot Falls. • 10 inches in Nutimik Lake. • 9 inches in Dorothy Lake. • 11 inches in Margaret/Eleanor Lake. • 1 foot in Sylvia Lake. • 8 inches upstream of Silver Falls. The Winnipeg River is expected to crest between June 5-10. Rising water levels and rapidly evolving conditions pose a significant risk to public safety. Manitoba Parks continue to monitor safety and water levels inside the closure area, additional safety measures may be applied if required. Manitoba Parks has been contacting all permanent residents in the closure area. If you have not been contacted by Manitoba Parks staff to register, please call the parks line at 204-340-6769 and leave a message with your name, lot, block, subdivision, and ask to be added to the permanent residents list. You will then be called back to register. Water levels improvement are being seen in all areas south of the Winnipeg River. Falcon, West Hawk, Star, Caddy, Brereton, White, and Jessica Lakes are reporting a decrease today. One log was also inserted into the West Hawk Dam on May 26 to slow the downstream flow, this change will take a few days to positively impact Jessica and White Lake. Manitoba Parks staff are working in conjunction with staff from the department of Manitoba, Transportation and Infrastructure to monitor lake levels and adjust control structures where possible. This includes monitoring structures for blockages. Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Pay attention to signage, and barricades. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in the event of further damage to the seawall. Sandbags for filling and sand are available for cottage owners at: the 8 Foot Falls Road in Pointe du Bois, Jessica Lake at the garbage collection site, the parking lot across from Brereton Lake Resort, the West Hawk maintenance yard, and the causeway at Falcon Lake. There are a limited number of pre-filled bags at the Jessica Lake and Pointe du Bois depots. PR 307 from the west park entrance to the PR307/309 junction, and PR 312 near Caddy Lake is closed to all traffic. PR 309 near Meditation Lake is restricted to local traffic only. We encourage everyone to check manitoba511.ca before travelling. You can call 511 anywhere in Manitoba to get updates by phone. Water is present on several block roads throughout the park. White Lake Block 4 is closed to vehicle use. The following block roads should not be crossed in a smaller vehicle until the water recedes: High Rock Road at West Hawk, and Jessica Lake Block 5-6-7-8. Caution should be used when travelling through flooded areas. The following boat launches are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: 8 Foot Falls, Big Creek, White Lake, Jessica Lake, South Shore Big Whiteshell, and Toniata. West Hawk and Falcon Beach Campground Boat launches have been re-opened. Public can expect open launches to be without docks, high water is preventing repair and placement of docks throughout the park. Please use caution and courtesy when boating. All boat traffic should be cautious of debris and items submerged below the surface. Please be advised that you cannot visit the closed area of the park by boat. Access is not allowed to your cottage or recreational areas via the Winnipeg River. No landing in the closed area is allowed. Extreme caution should be used with travelling the upstream portion of the Winnipeg River (Pointe du Bois to Lamprey Falls). To minimize potential erosion caused by boat wakes, recreational motor boat restrictions are in place. Recreational motor boat traffic is prohibited from operating within 100 metres of the shoreline on: West Hawk, Falcon, Caddy, Star, Brereton, Jessica, White, Big Whiteshell, Betula, Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor Lakes, and the shoreline adjacent to the Pointe du Bois subdivision in Whiteshell Provincial Park. When exiting or approaching the shoreline, boats should move directly out from land and avoid creating a wake. The following hiking trails are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: the Marsh Trail (between Falcon Lake Marina and Beach Campground), TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay, and Hunt Lake. All backcountry campsites in Whiteshell Provincial park are closed due to flooding, high water conditions and frequently changing portage conditions. Campers should check the Manitoba Parks homepage for the status of campgrounds prior to coming to the park. Several campgrounds have full or partial closures. All campground in the closure area will remain closed until this portion of the park reopens (Dorothy Lake, Opapiskaw, Nutimik Lake, and Otter Falls). In addition, White Lake Campground is closed (seasonal and nightly) and nightly camping is closed in Big Whiteshell Campground. Phone Numbers/ Websites:• Parks info line for water, flood and closures: 204-340-6769 between 8am and 6pm daily. • To report an emergency please contact the RCMP via 911 if located in the South Whiteshell, 204-348-7177 in the North Whiteshell, and 204-345-8685 in Pointe du Bois. • Camping Information 1-888-482-2267 for the Parks Reservation Service. • Environment, Climate and Parks General inquiry line 1-800-214-6497. • Highway conditions: Manitoba511.ca • Manitoba Parks: manitobapark.com for a list of other closures.• Manitoba Hydro Water Flow New Release: www.hydro.mb.ca/articles/2022/05/manitoba_hydro_advises_extreme_caution_on_waterways/• DFA Information: www.gov.mb.ca/emo/dfa/residence.html, dfa@gov.mb.ca or by phone at 204-945-3050. ... See MoreSee Less
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Regular weekly Hydro report for Winnipeg River LakesNOTE: this is a 7 day forecast, the earlier one was 10-14 day - so the numbers are different ... See MoreSee Less
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Winnipeg River hydro report(Our regular Friday report expected in about an hour) ... See MoreSee Less
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Posted on Caddy lake page (Dennis Dyck) – “ Found floating on Caddy Lake; blue plastic barrel. Still has both bung caps installed, so likely used as a float support rather than a weight. A marathon canoe with a # 32 painted on it. A 5 gallon jerrycan If these items belong to you please pick them up at block 9, lot 25. Thanks ... See MoreSee Less
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Sheila Dancho – “I have lost two sections of stairs that look like these. Please post to your page. Thanks for your help. Contact info 2042663066 Sheila Dancho from The Nutimik Island” ... See MoreSee Less
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