A rural Manitoba fire chief is urging people to make sure their driveways are wide enough for emergency vehicles to get through, after crews struggled to reach a house fire on Thursday.

Fire Chief Ray Kelsch said crews lost precious time trying to get to the fire in the village of Petersfield, located north of Winnipeg in the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews.

"Matlock fire department was the first in there, and they actually cut a couple of trees down so they could get in. Because of the curves, they would have taken mirrors off, or lights off, the trucks," he said.

All the snow this winter has made driveways and approaches even more narrow than usual, Kelsch said.

People have to consider whether fire trucks can get through, he said.

"The ordinary person, as long as they can get their cars, or their half-ton truck in, that's all that matters [to them],” Kelsch said.

“If the driveways or the approaches would be bigger, wide enough to get our trucks in, it would make life a lot easier for rural fire departments.

No one was hurt in the fire but the house was heavily damaged.