A number of homes were evacuated Saturday after fire broke out in a forested area of Winnipeg.

The City of Winnipeg said Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, including the WFPS Wildland Unit, was called to a fire in the Assiniboine Forest in the rear of Pacific Junction School at 4:33 p.m.

Heavy smoke from the fire could be seen in the area and hampered visibility for drivers on nearby roads.

Fire officials said wind conditions allowed the fire to spread quickly and firefighters worked to protect homes in the area.

Homes on Woodchester Bay, Woodfield Bay, and Woodview Bay, as well as a nearby business, were evacuated as a precaution.

Residents were cleared to return to their homes at about 8:20 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

The WFPS said crews worked throughout the night to extinguish hotspots and protect homes. It is ecpexted crew will continue to fight the fire throughout the day Saturday.

There is no word yet on a cause but the city said the fire was believed to have started inside the forest and burned outwards towards homes and rail tracks.

The city said rail traffic was not believed to be a factor in the cause of the fire.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service said it is imperative for residents to use extreme caution when doing any sort of burning.

It said when wind speeds exceed 25 kilometers per hour, all open-air fires – including those in approved fire pits – are banned.

It added even if a resident has obtained a burning permit, fires are not permitted under these conditions.

Residents were also reminded not to dispose of smoking materials on the ground near vegetation or from a vehicle window.