Fire destroys 6 cabins in Manitoba’s Beaver Creek Provincial Park

By | June 2, 2020

Firefighters continue to battle wildfire in Beaver Creek Provincial Park that has forced the evacuation of cabins in the area around the Manitoba park and destroyed six cottages. 

Rubble was all that was left of the buildings by Tuesday afternoon, and smoke could still be smelled around the cottages. 

Water bombers have been flying above the area, about 170 kilometres north of Winnipeg on the western side of Lake Winnipeg, and collecting water from the lake to put out nearby hot spots. 

A plane is also in the area to help co-ordinate the firefighting efforts and a helicopter is stationed at the incident command centre. 

Firefighters were called in around 2:30 p.m. Monday from departments in nearby communities including Arborg, Gimli and Riverton, but it was too late for the six cottages. 

Jeff Erwin is a wildfire specialist with the Office of the Fire Commission. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

“You got a bunch of fires rolling through the cottage subdivision so it’s … pretty intense,” said Jeff Erwin, a wildfire specialist with the Office of the Fire Commission, from the fire command centre in Beaver Creek Provincial Park Tuesday. 

Erwin said the conditions in the area are a concern. 

“It’s dry out, low humidity, hot — it all adds up to … strong fire behaviour.”

Water bombers like this one, shown in a file photo, are among the resources being used on a fire in Beaver Creek Provincial Park. (Manitoba Conservation Officers Association/Facebook)

Provincial fire crews are expected to be in the area into the night Tuesday in case there’s a change in winds and the fire flares up. 

“You don’t want to lose anymore of these cottages,” said Erwin.

He’s hoping for rain and a drop in temperatures.

A fire in Beaver Creek Provincial Park has destroyed six cottages and is still smoldering. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Emergency response teams have set up sprinklers on properties in immediate danger.

Leroy Loewen, chief of the Arborg-Bifrost fire department, said in the area he was working in, the fire had jumped a major road and also spread along a smaller road connected to it. 

“The treetops were burned, and it was very smoky as well as we were going in,” he said. 

“So it was less than ideal but … we put in a lot of effort and we were successful at saving the cabin that we were assigned to protect.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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