Manitoba

Manitoba calls in U.S. firefighters while 70 wildfires burn in province

​About 70 firefighters are headed to Manitoba to help fight wildfires burning across the province.

Firefighters from Wisconsin and Quebec to arrive in Winnipeg on Thursday

Fire crews from across Manitoba are working to fight more than 70 wildfires. (Bert Savard/CBC)

About 70 firefighters are headed to Manitoba to help fight wildfires burning across the province.

According to Manitoba Conservation, more than 70 fires are burning in Manitoba right now, with four new ones igniting in one day on Tuesday.

Gary Friesen, the manager of the wildfire program for Manitoba Conservation, said all of those were started by lightning and dry, hot weather in the northwest has put the forest fire risk at high.

"It's continually dry, and we've had a lot of fires," said Friesen. "The fires don't seem to be stopping so it taxes everybody."

Friesen said crews are making progress on the fires and showers in a few spots have helped with containment efforts, but firefighters are tired and need relief.

Forty-two firefighters from Quebec and 28 from Wisconsin are expected to arrive in The Pas and Thompson on Thursday to help local crews battle the blazes and relieve others of their duties.

Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories are having similar problems with fires. Heavy smoke from Saskatchewan has been blowing into Manitoba, making skies hazy and fires here more difficult to fight.

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