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This article was published 15/5/2012 (3411 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
With a little help from its neighbours, Manitoba is fighting forest fires including one that threatens a southeastern community.
Nearly 40 firefighters in 13 three-person initial-attack crews flew in from British Columbia, even as that province reported its own fire risk was rising due to hot, dry weather.
From the east, two water bombers arrived from Quebec.
Two other water bombers flew up from Minnesota on Monday.
They joined municipal fire crews and 73 Manitoba Conservation forest firefighters, up from 60, working to hold back the fires that started four days ago.
The province also has four water bombers, four single-engine air tankers and five helicopters.
On the ground, there are nine bulldozers cutting fire lines, mostly to protect properties in the path of the wildfires in and around Badger.
Despite the all-out firefighting effort, two of three wildfires are gaining ground under fierce winds.
Of three wildfires raging Tuesday in the province, the largest was near the tiny wilderness town of Badger in the heart of the Sandilands Provincial Park.
In its report on the fire situation, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship said the fire threatening the community of Badger, 130 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, has grown to 5,300 hectares (from about 5,000 Monday) due to strong winds overnight.
The RM of Piney ordered the evacuation of Badger on Sunday. Sixteen individuals are out of their homes until further notice. Officials initially suggested they might make a decision on when residents could go home but in the end, they held back on that Tuesday.
There was some good news for Badger.
"At this time, all firefighting efforts to protect the community have been successful," the province said in the update. "Provincial and municipal crews continued Tuesday to strengthen fire lines and build up fire guards to keep the town safe."
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship said with hotter temperatures forecast later this week and no rain on the way, ground and air crews have a tough job ahead of them.
To help with that, the province is continuing the travel ban imposed on the area Monday. Officials advised anyone living, working, camping or travelling in the region to use caution and avoid starting any fires.
Meanwhile, a second wildfire on Crown land south of Marchand, 83 km southeast of Winnipeg, grew to 1,100 hectares from 400 hectares but no buildings were threatened.
The province set up a command centre at Marchand Monday to co-ordinate fire crews in the hot zone and operations expanded to accommodate the growing number of crews.
Municipal fire crews from the region, with the help of the Office of the Fire Commissioner, continued to battle a 4,100-hectare fire in the RM of Stuartburn, south of PTH 201.
Manitoba Conservation took local reeves on helicopter tours of fire zones Tuesday to give them their first glimpse from the air of the damage on the ground.
Reeve Duane Boutang, from the RM of Piney said he had one word to describe the scene: "Devastating."
"There are lots of burnt areas," he added.
The reeve said he's grateful for the help from the province, which is spelling off municipal crews exhausted from working fire lines since Saturday.
"They're rolling in a lot of equipment and that's good news. The province is pulling out all the stops to put this thing out," Boutang said.
Stuartburn Reeve Jim Swidersky said he came back from his tour in a better mood than he's felt in days.
"It looked very good. The perimeter is secure. There was the odd smouldering tree and the guys are knocking them down now. I think we've got it under control."
Swidersky said despite strong winds overnight, crews on patrol kept the fire from growing so the RM sent six crews from neighbouring municipalities home Tuesday.
There are a dozen firefighters from Emerson and Stuartburn on the ground, mostly monitoring the perimeter of the Stuartburn fire near Vita, 118 km southeast of Winnipeg.