May 4, 2016 5:12 pm

Forest fire concerns growing in Manitoba

A fire burns brush near Steinbach, Man. in April 2015.

Randall Paull / Global News
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WINNIPEG — Manitoba has had half the normal number of forest fires so far this year, but officials worry things are about to change.

Gary Friesen, manager of the provincial fire program, says dry weather and winds in the forecast are expected to create some challenges, but nothing on the scale of what is being seen in Alberta.

RELATED: Live updates of Fort McMurray wildfire

Still, he says, conditions are dry enough that Manitoba is not able to contribute water bombers and other equipment to Alberta at this time.

READ MORE: Southern Manitoba at risk for wildfires

With the season just starting, about 90 firefighters are ready for duty and more are being trained next week.

Some municipalities have already cancelled burning permits and imposed restrictions.

Friesen says the year started out well due to a couple of heavy drops of snow and rain in the early spring.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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