Provincial officials said a wildfire burning in the RM of Piney forced at least a dozen people out of the village of Badger early Monday morning.

According to area councillor Donald Winnicky, 20 homes are threatened and Manitoba Conservation has sprinklers focused on the houses.

A local state of emergency remains in effect for the Piney area.

Monday morning, Winnicky said the fire was creeping southeast, and that equipment was at the fire line waiting for winds to pick up.

He said if winds do increase, it will mean bad news for the area, due to extremely dry conditions.

Crews have been battling rural blazes all weekend.

About 1,300 hectares burned Sunday, charring land northeast of Carrick and southeast of Woodridge, officials from Manitoba Conservation said. Saturday night the fire was spread across just 200 hectares, but it spread quickly overnight.

Municipal fire crews worked with over 30 forest firefighters from Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship to battle the blaze Sunday. Three bulldozers were used to cut fire lines.

In addition, five water bombers and three helicopters were called in to battle the blaze from the air.

Just before 7 a.m. Monday, Manitoba Conservation officials said the water bombers would be returning to the sky shortly to assist in the effort.

Highway 203 was closed Saturday at Carrick because of poor visibility in the area.

Manitoba Conservation said the danger of fire continues to be high due to the low humidity and high winds. Extreme caution was requested.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.