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Firefighters return to site of fire that threatened 20 homes

WINNIPEG – The ground was still smouldering Thursday morning as firefighters returned to the site of a grass fire in south Winnipeg that threatened multiple homes on Wednesday.

A fire truck arrived at about 7 a.m. and firefighters with water backpacks went into the bush to douse hot spots near the Perimeter Highway and St. Mary’s Road.

On Wednesday evening, homeowners on Fraser Road near the Perimeter Highway and St. Mary’s Road watched anxiously as the flames entered their yards.

“I don’t know if I should be running to get my photo albums or what. I got my dog and my kids aren’t here, so that’s the most important thing,” Suzanne Green said as she watched the flames approach her house. “Everything else is material junk.”

Two water bombers had to be called in before the fire was brought under control. About 20 homes were threatened but only a few garages suffered minor damage.

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Residents used garden hoses and brooms to battle hot spots.

“We did the mad panic and packed everything up, in case, and watched it come right past our house,” said Candace Savage, who was told to leave her home.

A second crew of firefighters had to be called in to battle the stubborn blaze, as 14 pumper trucks and more than 60 firefighters worked into the evening.

Charred trees and hydro poles were all that was left on about 2.5 square kilometres of land between the Perimeter Highway and the floodway just off St. Mary’s Road.

Winnipeg fire
A firefighter puts out a hot spot in the bush near Fraser Road on Thursday. Tamara Forlanski / Global News
Winnipeg fire
A firefighter stomps out hot spots Thursday at the site of a fire near Fraser Road. Rudi Pawlychyn / Global News
Winnipeg fire
A burned-out car sits in the bush Thursday near Fraser Road. Tamara Forlanski / Global News
Winnipeg fire
A log smoulders in the bush behind Fraser Road on Thursday morning. Tamara Forlanski / Global News
Winnipeg fire
The ground smokes behind Fraser Road homes near the Perimeter Highway and St. Mary's Road on Thursday morning. A fire Wednesday burned about 2.5 square kilometres of land. Rudi Pawlychyn / Global News
Winnipeg fire
A panorama shows the blackened ground near the Perimeter Highway and St. Mary's Road on Thursday morning. Tamara Forlanski / Global News
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Winnipeg fire truck Fraser Road fire
Winnipeg fire chief Reid Douglas's dismissal was made public on Wednesday. Tamara Forlanski / Global News
Winnipeg fire
Burned brooms used to fight a grass fire lie on the ground on Thursday. Rudi Pawlychyn / Global News
Winnipeg fire
Firefighters' hoses lie on the ground Thursday behind a Fraser Road home after a grass fire on Wednesday. The hoses were damaged while fighting the fire. Tamara Forlanski / Global News
Winnipeg fire
The ground smoulders behind 501 Fraser Rd. on Thursday. Rudi Pawlychyn / Global News
Winnipeg fire
The ground smoulders around 295 Fraser Rd. on Thursday morning. Rudi Pawlychyn / Global News