Although spring has only just begun, emergency crews have already responded to wildland fires due to the fairly mild and dry conditions Winnipeg has been experiencing.
“Going by a three-year average, we have responded to hundreds of fires during spring months,” public education officer Derek Grignon told Global News Morning.
Grignon said these blazes offer lots of challenges for first responders since many of their trucks can’t access fields or forests.
“It’s quite manpower intensive. At times we have to go out there with backpacks with water and brooms to put them out,” he said.
WFPS also has some equipment purchased last year — called The Bison — to tackle these exact fires.
“It’s basically a heavy-duty pickup. It carries water in the back and has systems to automatically shoot water while going over tough terrain,” Grignon explained.
“It’s quite capable going off road,” he added.
The ideal though would be to prevent the fires from happening in the first place.
“For smokers, don’t discard the butts out car windows or along walking trails. Make sure they are disposed of properly,” Grignon said.
“If you live near a forest or open field, keep your yards clean. This could help any flying fire debris from catching other things on fire and potentially spreading to your home.”
There are also things homeowners can do if they use a fire pit in their backyard.
Wildland fires have been reported outside of the city as well, including this past weekend near Portage la Prairie and the RM of Woodlands.
Fire officials remind people to never hesitate to call 911 if there’s a fire or some kind of emergency.