High temperatures and strong winds caused some troubles for crews battling a massive forest fire in northern Manitoba.
The blaze at Kisseynew Lake, between Cranberry Portage and Sherridon, about 800 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, has been burning for nearly two weeks but firefighters are getting the upper hand — despite the recent trouble, said a news release from Manitoba Conservation.
Flare-ups caused by the heat and wind on Thursday were quickly doused with the use of helicopter water buckets and water bombers, provincial officials said.
There were also seven new fires reported in the north Thursday but are all under control and the forecast is now calling for light scattered showers. However, some lightning is expected with those showers.
Officials believe it was a lightning strike that sparked the Kisseynew fire, which forced the evacuation of residents from the community of Cormorant and put residents in Cranberry Portage on alert.
It was last reported on Wednesday to be 55,000 hectares in size.
Evacuation alerts lifted
The battle though has begun to turn in the firefighters' favour. Crews are making good progress with the construction of fire lines to contain the spread of the flames.
As a result, the evacuation alerts were lifted Friday. As well, Bakers Narrows campground reopened, while the campground in Grass River Provincial Park reopened Thursday.
The road between Cranberry Portage and Sherridon remains restricted to local traffic only.
There are 440 firefighters, 13 helicopters, 13 water bombers and other heavy equipment continuing to fight this fire.
Manitoba is getting help from crews from British Columbia, Ontario and Minnesota.
The latest information on forest fires, restrictions and the status of provincial campgrounds is available through the link to the provincial government website, located at the top right of this page.