Man. forest fire spreads over 52,000 hectares

Man. forest fire spreads over 52,000 hectares

27 June 2010

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Canada — Firefighters continue to battle a stubborn forest fire near the community of Cranberry Portage in north-central Manitoba.

Dry conditions and strong winds in the area, about 800 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, have allowed the fire to spread over 52,000 hectares.

Evacuation warnings continue for residents because of heavy smoke.

But firefighters believe they are making progress against the blaze, which is being fought by 39 firefighting crews, 11 helicopters and eight water bombers.

Manitoba is getting help from crews from British Columbia, Ontario and Minnesota.

Residents of Cormorant, about 70 kilometres southeast of Cranberry Portage, were forced out of their homes last week by heavy smoke. Many of them relocated to The Pas, about 100 kilometres south.

As well, about 200 people have voluntarily left Cranberry Portage, ahead of any evacuation order.

The Canadian Red Cross is urging everyone who has left Cranberry Portage, a community of about 600, to register with the agency.

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