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High winds worsen brush fire

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Firefighters are continuing to attack a stubborn grass fire in Charleswood this afternoon.

High winds are fanning the flames of the blaze, located between Loudoun Road and McCreary south of Wilkes Avenue in southwestern Winnipeg.

he fire is between Loudoun Road and McCreary south of Wilkes Avenue.

Fire platoon chief Albert Sigfusson said so many fire crews have been tied up that the department has only about 30 per cent of their leftover force covering other fire halls in the city. About 18 fire trucks have been on site at all times since 8 a.m.

"It is tough because the fire hydrants are located a mile away," Sigfusson added.

Crew members from St. James Tree Service are helping by spraying water on a large house and the forest around it on the east side of Loudoun just south of Howe.

Firefighters were also seen transporting firefighting equipment - including a couple of brooms - into the bush on an ATV.

It's not known how many residents have been evacuated or left on their own, he said.

Fire burning on and off for past few days

A fog-like cloud is hovering in the air about half kilometre east of Loudoun Road, just north of Howe Avenue.

The staff of Cambridge Meadow Farms, 2790 Wilkes Ave., led horses to safety over the noon hour.

Students at Canadian Mennonite University, near the intersection of Grant Avenue and Shaftesbury Boulevard, report smoke blowing in through windows.

The fire has been burning off and on for the past couple of days, hiding in tinder-dry grass and bush south of the Assiniboine Forest.

The firefighting effort is made particularly difficult by the strong winds today, gusting up to 70 km/h from the south and west, blowing the smoke over the southwestern part of the city.

Michael MacTavish, who lives on Loudoun, between Wilkes and McGillivray, said the bush fire is south of where he’s located, but firefighters are hosing down the home across the street as a precaution.

"We’re probably fine here, but the people across the street are probably more frightened than I am," he said.

He said the fire began near the Meadow Green Stables at 1727 Loudoun on Sunday, was brought under control but has since sparked up again.

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History

Updated on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 1:03 PM CDT: Updated

3:15 PM: Adds information from fire department.

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