February 20, 2020

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Wet summer good for local firefighters

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/8/2009 (3847 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

THIS summer's wet and cool weather has been brutal for farmers and beach goers, but it's made one group happy — the province's firefighters.

Blair McTavish, director of Manitoba Conservation's regional operations division, said at a time of year when firefighters and water bomber aircraft are usually busy putting out blazes in northern areas of the province, nothing's happening here.

"We have no fires burning in the province at this time," McTavish said on Friday.

"With the 20-year average, we usually have 425 fires by Aug. 7, but this year we've had 130. We're down significantly for fires. "We haven't had a fire since July 14."

McTavish said many forest fires are sparked by lightning strikes, but there are fewer bolts of lightning when the temperatures are cooler. And with so much moisture on the ground, it's tougher for a fire to start.

It's part of the reason why Manitoba was able to loan 80 firefighters and 13 managers to battle the blazes in British Columbia in the last two weeks.

McTavish said even if Manitoba suddenly gets drier weather, and forest fires are sparked, we're already near the end of the fire season because nights are getting cooler.

— Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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