August 1, 2017 7:54 am

Forest fire concerns in Manitoba heating up

A 2016 photo showing wildfires approaching Manitoba communities.

@lilly_006 / Twitter

It may not be as dramatic in Manitoba as it is in other parts of the country, but British Columbia isn’t the only province feeling the heat this forest fire season.

As of August 1st, 75 fires are currently burning in the province, many of those caused by the extreme heat and lack of rain.

Manitoba Conservation’s fire program manager, Gary Friesen, said the weather is cause for concern right across the prairies.

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“We do need some rain throughout the province,” said Friesen. “Hopefully with a little less lightning, because the conditions are good for starting those lightning fires.”

READ MORE: Heat Warnings Issued in Manitoba

The 75 blazes vary in size — some of them so remote they don’t require any action — but the number of fires started has been on a steady increase in recent weeks with highs into the 30 degree Celsius range.

“It keeps increasing.”

Friesen chalks up the issue to a lack of precipitation, pointing north where temperatures reached as high as 40 degrees Celsius with the humidex last week. Many other parts of Manitoba have been experiencing heat warnings throughout the last seven days.

READ MORE: Thunderstorms Bring Relief From the Heat

“The northern part of the province would be the area of concern right now,” Friesen said.

Temperature relief is on the way with dropping highs on Tuesday, but very small amounts of precipitation are expected.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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