According to the fire department, a large grass fire is said to have been started by ATV west of Carberry, Man
Firefighters believe a large grass fire that ignited west of Carberry, Man., And blew 30 families from their homes on Thursday, was started by an all-terrain vehicle.
A fire broke out near Camp Hughes – an old World War I military base in the North Cypress-Langford parish about 170 kilometers west of Winnipeg – Thursday afternoon. The Carberry North Cypress-Langford Fire Department responded to the fire, but several neighboring fire departments were called in to help.
The fire is now believed to be under control, but the Carberry North Cypress-Langford Fire Department released a press release Friday afternoon providing a fuller picture of what was going on.
“The investigation is still ongoing, but we believe this fire was started by an ATV,” the press release said. “Given the extremely dry conditions, we strongly recommend that you do not drive off-road anywhere in North-Cypress Langford parish.”
The town of Carberry and North Cypress-Langford Township were officially banned from fire on March 19 due to dry conditions. All outdoor fires are prohibited and anyone breaking the ban can be fined.
But shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday, the Carberry North Cypress-Langford Fire Department was called to a grass fire on Road 92 West and Road 59 North near Camp Hughes and south of what is known as the Danish Subdivision.
A section of Highway 351 from Highway 5 to the west junction of the Trans-Canada Highway was closed due to a fire on Thursday afternoon. The subdivision Dane is located directly on this motorway strip.
“We rated it as a fast fire in strong winds during a dry spring with tall grass (due to the low snowfall this winter),” the fire brigade’s press release said.
“We immediately activated mutual aid and called several watercraft from local farmers and colonies and confiscated tractors, windows and a scraper.”
However, the fire was moving faster than firefighters could put it out. It crossed a Canadian-Pacific railroad line and moved north towards the Dane subdivision, threatening a number of homes.
Just before 5:45 p.m., Manitoba RCMP informed the public through social media about the grass fire and that evacuation efforts were ongoing. Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Manaigre told CBC News at the time that Mounties of the Blue Hills division were helping people in the Danes subdivision clear their homes.
About 30 families have been sent to enroll on the Carberry hockey rink, the release announced on Friday. They were allowed to return to their homes around 8:30 p.m.
Manitoba RCMP provided a map Thursday showing the approximate areas of impact of the fire. The red circle estimates the area of the fire. The blue circle is the evacuated residential area. (Submitted by Manitoba RCMP)
RCMP said on social media Thursday night that a house burned down. In fact, a house on its siding was damaged because a nearby garden shed caught fire, according to the fire department’s release on Friday. No houses were lost.
Firefighters respond to the second fire on Thursday evening
As the initial grass fire gradually subsided, the Carberry North Cypress-Langford Fire Department received a call about a second fire that they considered suspicious.
Shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, the fire department received the call about the second fire that forced them to send off six fire trucks from the main scene.
“This second fire is classified as suspicious, but was quickly contained,” said Friday’s press release. The fire engines returned within 20 minutes.
Firefighters stayed at the site of the first fire until 11:00 p.m. Thursday to keep an eye on nearby houses while putting out small brush fires and hot spots.
Firefighters stayed on site until 11 p.m. Thursday and then returned at 6 a.m. on Friday to continue monitoring the area. (Submitted by Liam Pattison)
The fire brigade returned to the scene of the crime at 6 a.m. on Friday and monitored throughout the day, extinguishing several trouble spots.
Given the current conditions in the area, the fire department suggests residents turn on all lawn sprinklers to start growing their grass, clearing up debris around their homes, making sure the gutters are clean and there is no wood on or in the Stacking near buildings, the press release says.
The fire brigade also advises the public not to visit ongoing emergency scenes in the future.
“The smoke was so thick yesterday that it was difficult for first responders to see, and the situation was made worse by additional traffic from bystanders who had nothing to do with attending the scene,” the press release said .
No injuries have been reported, Manaigre of the Manitoba RCMP told CBC News on Friday.