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Winnipeg grass fire grows to the size of 3 football fields: city

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The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) responded to a grass fire on Wednesday evening that grew to the size of three football fields.

The fire took place just after 7 p.m. near Day Street and Gunn Road.

When crews got to the scene, they found a ‘significant’ grass fire and opted to shut down rail traffic in the area out of precaution. The WFPS used drone technology, as well as wildland firefighting equipment to attack the flames.

The fire was declared under control by 8:05 p.m. No one was physically injured.

Wildland fire prevention

The WFPS is asking Winnipeggers to take steps to reduce the risk of wildland fires, adding that despite some recent rain, conditions in the city remain dry and windy.

According to the City of Winnipeg, wildfires are typically “wind-driven ground fires involving grass, brush and dead plant matter.” It notes these fires can spread quickly and cause extensive property damage.

In order to protect your property, the city suggests thinning and pruning vegetation; planting fire-resistant plants and shrubs; watering plants and vegetation around your home; storing firewood at least 10 metres away from structures; positioning fire pits in open areas; and cleaning up brush, leaves, grass and debris.

To help prevent wildfires, the city offers the following reminders:

  • Fires cannot be started if wind speeds exceed 25 km/h;
  • Only burn clean, dry, untreated wood. Do not burn yard waste, garbage or scrap materials;
  • Only use approved outdoor fire receptacles;
  • Always have some type of fire extinguisher readily available;
  • Don’t dispose of cigarette butts in vegetation, planter pots or from car windows; and
  • Speak to your children about the risks of starting fires.

In a typical year, the WFPS responds to about 200 wildfires. However, this number increases amid dry conditions.

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