WINNIPEG -- Soot, ash and smoke filled the air in Southwestern Manitoba Thursday evening hours after a grass fire that forced evacuations of about 20 homes was extinguished.

Murray Warwaruk, a resident of a development about 12 kilometres west of Carberry, Man., said he and his wife were not home when they received an emergency evacuation order Thursday afternoon. Warwaruk said his wife had time to get their cat from their house before emergency crews shut down the area due to a growing grass fire.

Murray Warwaruk

Warwaruk said when he was able to return to his home later Thursday evening, about five hours after being evacuated, he found how close the fire had come to his home.

“It basically surrounded our whole house," he said. "The fire department did a really good job of containing it and keeping it away from the houses."

Manitoba RCMP said homes were evacuated near CFB SHilo due to a fire that had broken out in the area. Highway 351 and 90 Road West were both closed because of the blaze, but were later reopened.

Shilo grass fire

(Source: Danton Unger/ CTV News Winnipeg)

Manitoba RCMP said in a Tweet around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday that the fire had been extinguished and those who were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes.

Bob Adriaansen, the reeve of the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford, said the fire started around 2 p.m. and crews were quick to respond and try to extinguish it. He said about 20 to 30 homes were evacuated, with an evacuation centre set up at the rink in Carberry to shelter the evacuees.

Grass fire

Source: Liam Pattison Photography

Adriaansen said all those who were evacuated ended up staying with friends or family, or were able to return home.

To the south of Warwaruk’s home, an orange plume of smoke continued to rise Thursday night. Warwaruk said firecrews were still out battling a fire in the bush near his house into the evening.

Shilo fire

(Source: Mason DePatie/ CTV News Winnipeg)

"There is soot and ash and everything flying in the air right now. When you drive through the development here, every acreage is black. It is crazy to see that all the yards were saved,” he said.

"I think we will get the full scope of it tomorrow morning."

Grass fire

Source: Liam Pattison Photography


EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this article said one home was destroyed in the fire. This detail has been changed to say damaged, as new information was released by the Carberry North Cypress-Longford Fire Department. More up-to-date information can be found here.