Mild, dry winter could lead to increased forest fire risk

Though most Manitobans have been enjoying the mild winter, the warm weather may have some negative impacts in the coming months.

According to Curtis Hull with Climate Change Connection Manitoba, the dry weather could have “really serious consequences” in the spring and summer, including increasing the risk of forest fires.

He said this is particularly concerning for those who live in forested areas.

“If the fire is threatening the community and they have to evacuate and you’re a winter road community, the only way in and out in the summertime is by air,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.

“So we would have to have evacuations by air from those communities.”

Hull added that even those who don’t live by forests can also be impacted by these fires, as they create smoky conditions across the Prairies.

“If you’ve got respiratory issues or you’re vulnerable that way, that smoke can be really insidious,” he said.

Along with increasing forest fire risk, the lack of snow is creating issues with winter roads in some Manitoba communities.

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