Manitoba

Stuartburn wildfire leaves man burning mad

Five months after wildfires forced people out of the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn, some residents are still burning mad with local and provincial officials.

Stuartburn wildfire frustration

9 years ago
1:20
Five months after wildfires forced people out of the R.M. of Stuartburn, some residents still angry with local and provincial officials. 1:20

Five months after wildfires forced people out of the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn, some residents are still burning mad with local and provincial officials.

Jo Zacharkiw says no one should have to go through what he's been through. The 71-year-old lost his house on Nov. 4 when smouldering peat sparked up.

His 100-year-old family home burned in to the ground in minutes.

He says he repeatedly warned RM officials and the province about the hotspots along his property.

"I told them about it and they were supposed to look into it. Nothing happened," he said.

Reeve Jim Swidersky said fire crews did their best to douse the hotspots through the long dry fall but resources were limited.

"We have a local volunteer fire department that is basically on standby to deal with local emerging fires. They are not out there to extinguish peat fires," he said.

The province says it has no record of any calls for assistance from the area.

"No one wants to take the responsibility," said Zacharkiw, whose belongings were insured but the property itself was not.

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