Dry conditions lead to another large grass fire in Winnipeg, firefighters say

Another serious grass fire has been sparked by dry Winnipeg weather conditions, fire officials say.

Firefighters were called to a blaze the size of a football field near Waverley Street and the Perimeter Highway around 4:30 p.m. Monday.

With the help of specialized equipment, they were able to extinguish the fire — but as with a similar incident Sunday near Centreport Canada Way — high winds spread the flames quickly.

Firefighters say the number of grass and wildland fires is expected to go up in the coming weeks as dry conditions continue, and are warning Winnipeggers to be careful when starting bonfires and putting out cigarettes.

“Despite the heavy snows we had earlier in the winter and some of those conditions, it’s drying out pretty quickly, so unless we get some moisture coming up, we can expect the risk of wildfires being fairly predominant,” assistant fire chief Scott Wilkinson told 680 CJOB on Monday afternoon.

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“At any given moment, the conditions can change quite quickly, so until things green up, there’s definitely a high hazard and people need to take extra caution.”

Wilkinson said fire crews are better prepared for fighting wildland fires thanks to two pieces of equipment specially made for that purpose.

“In the past, we would do a lot of manual work with our crews going out in the field — and they still have to do some of that — but we have a couple of what we call Bisons, and these are small four-by-four units,” he said.

“They have turrets for extinguishing grass fires and they can go off-road to attack the fire a little more efficiently, so it’s been a great addition to our fleet.”

Click to play video: 'Grass fires could spark more in coming weeks'

Grass fires could spark more in coming weeks

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