Manitoba

Wildfire in Caddy Lake area burns cabin, small train station

Rain has helped contain a wildfire burning along the Manitoba-Ontario border near Caddy Lake, but it didn’t stop the blaze from claiming a cabin and a small former train station overnight Wednesday.

Manitoba wildfires: Caddy Lake fire at 5,800 hectares, Beresford fire at 73,000 hectares

Two BAE-146 tankers from the U.S. Forest Service in Minnesota drop fire retardant onto the wildfire near Caddy Lake on Tuesday afternoon. The fire is not expected to grow from Thursday to Friday. (Ontario Northwest Region Forest Fire Management Centre)

Rain has helped contain a wildfire burning along the Manitoba-Ontario border near Caddy Lake, but it didn't stop the blaze from claiming a cabin and a small former train station overnight Wednesday.

Provincial officials said the trapping cabin and the Winnitoba station were both unoccupied at the time they burned down.

On Thursday, the fire's size was still about 5,800 hectares, owing mainly to about seven millimetres of rain that fell overnight Wednesday.

"The more the weather is cooperating like this, it's just a great opportunity to make good progress on all the fire lines," said Gary Friesen, manager of the fire program with Manitoba Sustainable Development.

The province does not expect the wildfire to grow over the next 24 hours either.

"Both fires — the Caddy Lake and Beresford fires — did not increase in size yesterday and we're not expecting any increases in size today," Friesen said.

The Beresford fire is within about 1 kilometre​ of Wallace Lake where buildings have been protected with temporary sprinklers, he said.

Friesen added officials are watching Long Lake but flames haven't moved closer to the community. 

There were no new evacuations over the past 24 hours, and officials are monitoring the situation as the weather changes.

An information meeting for people affected by the Caddy Lake  is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Whiteshell Community Hall in Falcon Lake, where Manitoba and Ontario fire officials will be on hand. 

Girl Guides camp in area

Cottage owners aren't the only ones watching the fire closely. The wildfire is also threatening the Caddy Lake Girl Guide Camp.

"Time will tell. We're at the mercy of mother nature," said Janet DeSousa, the chair of the camp committee.

DeSousa said she's thankful for the rain that fell overnight, but she's still concerned the wildfire could flare up again.  

"On Monday it came within a kilometre or two of the camp," she said. "It was pretty tense."

DeSousa said the camp is supposed to open on the May long weekend, but she's not sure that's going to happen.

The camp has been open for 67 years and if it got lost in the fire, it would be a huge loss to the guiding and Caddy Lake communities, she said.

"It would have a huge impact on our guiding community. The cottage owners have known us for so long, we're part of this community."

 Another fire, which is much larger, is burning near Beresford Lake.

On Wednesday, the province said the fire was still burning about 73,000 hectares.