Wet and cool conditions are helping crews battle fires at Caddy Lake and Beresford Lake, which did not grow in size overnight.
The fires remain at about 5,800 hectares near Caddy Lake in the south Whiteshell, and about 73,000 hectares in the Beresford Lake area.
Manitoba and Ontario fire officials will hold an information session today at 7 p.m. at the Whiteshell Community Centre in Falcon Lake to update everyone affected by the wildfire that started north of Caddy Lake and has spread into northwestern Ontario. People unable to attend can call 204-345-1444 for information.
The Northwest Territories has sent two water bombers and a spotter aircraft to help fight the two wildfires, and 20 firefighters from Nova Scotia will arrive Friday. Ontario has established a base camp in the parking lot on the beach in Falcon.
The wildfire near the popular Caddy Lake resort area has hit the point where South Cross and North Cross lakes connect by a train tunnel. The connection is a key point for canoe trips heading north along a series of more remote lakes. Firefighting crews have kept Hydro lines intact.
The Wildfire Program of Manitoba Sustainable Development advises that although very little precipitation was received in eastern Manitoba, the wet, cool conditions are helping fires crews make good progress on wildfires near Beresford Lake and Caddy Lake.
In the south Whiteshell and northwestern Ontario, hydro lines were not damaged, but an unoccupied trapper’s cabin on North Cross Lake was lost. Ontario continues to lead operations to control this fire.
There have been no new evacuation orders for several days.
The east shore of Caddy Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park is closed until further notice and evacuation orders remain in effect.
PR 312 from one kilometre east of PTH 44 (Big Island turnoff) to the Ontario border remains closed. The road continues on into Ontario for several kilometres, before ending at the community of Ingolf, one of the first to be evacuated, primarily because it is a docking area for water-access cottages.
The Beresford Lake fire remains approximately 73,000 ha. Sprinkler protection continues on cabins in the area and crews are making good progress with suppression efforts.
Thirty-five firefighters from northern Manitoba are being deployed to fight this fire Thursday.
An evacuation order remains in effect for Wallace Lake, which affects 61 cottages and one lodge. Officials are monitoring conditions at Long Lake closely.
The mandatory evacuation of the Beresford cottage subdivision in the Nopiming Provincial Park continues. The Beresford and Wallace lake campgrounds are closed until wildfire conditions improve.
Local authorities are leading the response to support Manitoba evacuees in the region.
Manitoba Sustainable Development, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Southeast Whiteshell Fire Department and the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner continue co-operative suppression efforts on these border area wildfires.
Travel restrictions remain in place in eastern Manitoba including the Mars Hill Wildlife Management area. Motorized back country travel is prohibited between the hours of noon to 7 p.m. in these areas. Any travel outside of these set times must be under the authority of a travel permit issued by a conservation officer.
In the Whiteshell Provincial Park, the Hunt Lake, Mantario and McGillivray Falls hiking trails are closed until wildfire conditions improve.
All burning permits are cancelled and no new permits will be issued for eastern Manitoba. Weather conditions have now permitted the lifting of burning permit and travel restrictions for central and western Manitoba. The 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. restriction on campfires in Birds Hill Provincial Park has also been lifted.
The province advised that smoke levels from forest fires may vary considerably due to fire conditions and wind directions.
Check local weather forecast for smoke conditions including any public alerts about smoke or poor air quality in local areas. Those in the Brandon or Winnipeg areas can check the local Air Quality Health Index at www.ec.gc.ca/cas-aqhi/ for updates on air quality conditions.
For information about the health effects of smoke, talk to health-care providers or call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) 1-888-315-9257 or visit: www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/wildlandfiresmoke.html.