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Premier tours fire-ravaged Vita

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VITA — It’s an annual visit that Premier Greg Selinger would rather not make.

The premier flew in a helicopter over the Vita area Wednesday afternoon, as he did at the same time last year. In both instances, it was to inspect serious fire damage.

"This fire still needs active management," the premier told a news conference, referring to several areas in the RM of Stuartburn where crews continue to fight the fire that destroyed three homes in Vita Tuesday.

Selinger said provincial officials are on the scene to help residents in various ways, including applications to the Disaster Financial Assistance Fund.

Selinger said he appreciated the valiant effort of volunteers.

"I’m always impressed with the ways communities can mobilize," he said.

While about 60 volunteer firefighters worked to save Vita from a wildfire that destroyed the three houses, other community volunteers joined in to help in many ways.

The Vita Bible Centre supplied food and beverages as well as Tim Hortons. Steinbach Mennonite Church offered itself as a contact centre for evacuated residents and found billets for anyone in need.

Vita High School offered coffee, meeting rooms and phones.

Stuartburn Reeve Jim Swidersky said he has received many phone calls from people willing to help in any way they can.

History

Updated on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM CDT: updates

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