WINNIPEG – Fire departments responded to multiple fires and Manitoba Hydro worked to restore power to about 3,500 Winnipeg customers as emergency crews battled wind-related problems in southern Manitoba Wednesday.
Fire departments around Steinbach, Man., fought a six- or seven-acre grass fire just south of the community of Mitchell, Steinbach RCMP Staff Sgt. Harold Laninga said at noon.
WATCH: Fire departments battle grass fires near Steinbach
“We’re still at the scene,” he said, explaining he didn’t have many details because his officers were busy at the scene.
A grass fire near Ryan Street between the railway tracks and Logan Avenue kept fire crews in Winnipeg busy early Wednesday afternoon.
It appeared the fire started in a vacant lot but the industrial area included several nearby businesses, including a lumber yard, a Winnipeg police spokesman said.
The call about the fire came in at 12:26 p.m. and the wildland fire equipment was dispatched, a Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service spokeswoman said. The fire was under control by 2 p.m. and the cause was under investigation.
High winds and dry conditions also sparked fires in the Carman and Elm Creek areas.
Carman RCMP were responding to grass fires in the rural municipalities of Thompson and Rhineland, a spokeswoman said. She had few details because police were still on their way.
Meanwhile, power was out for about 3,500 customers in the Elmwood area of Winnipeg after wind damaged a 6,600-volt line that supplies electricity to two substations, a Manitoba Hydro spokesman said.
Paul Gervais said he was in a friend’s house on Simpson Avenue in East Kildonan when the lights went out, “then I heard a flash like lightning.”
Two power lines were pulled off their insulators and several Winnipeg Hydro crews were on scene dealing with the problem.
Part of a backyard fence on Simpson Avenue had been ripped away by the wind.
Power was out in the area west of Raleigh Street between Chief Peguis Trail and McLeod Avenue.
Wind was blowing from the south at 45 kilometres per hour gusting to 88 km/h at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport at 1 p.m.