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This article was published 6/10/2011 (3674 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
FIRES are raging in tinder-dry conditions across a wide area of Manitoba.
A brush fire has consumed more than 800 hectares about 12 kilometres west of Fisher Branch, provincial officials said Thursday evening.
Fire crews have been fighting the fire constantly since Wednesday, working through the night. Fisher Branch is located about 160 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
Strong winds were expected to push a fire from Minnesota into the southeastern corner of the province.
The Long Lake fire north of Nopiming Provincial Park was 11 kilometres long and close to a kilometre wide by Thursday evening. Highway 304 has been closed from Bissett to Wallace Lake after the fire jumped the highway.
There were also several other smaller fires in the region. Burning permits have been cancelled in eastern Manitoba.
"Current dry fall conditions along with above-average temperatures and increasing winds are pushing fire danger to the extreme in some areas of eastern Manitoba. In these conditions, winds can push flames rapidly, igniting large areas of land and spreading to forests," Manitoba Conservation said Thursday evening.
A voluntary evacuation was underway in a wide area south of La Broquerie, about 70 km southeast of Winnipeg, where volunteer fire chief Alain Nadeau expected his two dozen firefighters would have to work through the night to battle a stubborn grass and bush fire that covered two sections along Highway 303.
Each section of land is a square mile.
In the Interlake, the RM of Armstrong banned both burning and open fires and urged all residents to take extreme caution.
Highway 19 in Riding Mountain National Park north of Brandon was closed Thursday night because of a controlled fire.
The province said new burning permits will not be issued for eastern Manitoba and any permits that have been issued are now cancelled. Campfires are allowed within enclosed fire pits.