Wildfires are blazing out of control across Manitoba, Canada, some of which have caused evacuations. As of Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the government reported 12 fires at extremely dangerous levels, prompting air-quality warnings for the western and central areas due to smoke.
The biggest fire reported is in Homebrook, estimated to be 144 000 ha (355 800 acres), more than 80 km (50 miles) long, and roughly 16 km (10 miles) wide at its widest point.
“Important value protection efforts [are] underway to preserve the Manitoba Hydro Bi Pole Lines 1 and 2,” the Manitoba Government wrote on its 10th Fire Bulletin.
Smoke from the fire could affect a number of communities in the area, including Grand Rapids, Misapawistik Cree Nation, Homebrook, Skownan First Nation, Waterhen, Mallard, and Gypsumville.
The second-largest fire is in the Rural Municipality of Mountain South, estimated to be 7 000 ha (17 300 acres). The fire is posing risk to half a dozen properties, but work is underway to protect them and local crews are responding.
The third biggest fire is reported in the Spruce Woods Provincial Park, estimated at 5 600 ha (13 800 acres), which prompted a local state of emergency in the rural municipality of North Cypress and Carberry.
“There is also potential for smoke to affect Spruce Woods Provincial Park and Swan Lake First Nation,” wrote the government. “The Spirit Sands Trails in the Carberry desert are closed.”
“Hikers are urged to avoid the area and should not ignore closed trail signs. The suppression effort continues jointly between the Department of National Defence from Shilo, Manitoba Wildfire Service, and local authorities.”