Smoke from a wildfire in Riding Mountain National Park is seen on Thursday.
On Thursday afternoon, smoke was reported in Riding Mountain National Park, 25 kilometers north-northeast of the town of Rossburn, officials said.
A Parks Canada fire management team was sent to the area to investigate on the ground and by air. As of yesterday, there was no immediate danger to people or property.
They discovered a slow moving wildfire burning in a predominately grassy area known as the Birdtail Bench, northwest of Gunn Lake. The fire covers approximately 600 hectares in the Birdtail Valley. The fire is located on the north side of the Birdtail River three kilometres from the park boundary.
The fire is human caused and remains under investigation. No prescribed burns have been conducted in the area this year. Parks Canada presently has two fire crews and one helicopter working to assess and monitor the extent and behaviour of the wildfire.
They worked on the south end of the wildfire yesterday to prevent it from moving in that direction.
It is hoped that the cooler weather and rain that has been forecast will limit the spread of the fire and possibly extinguish it in some areas. In addition, the adjacent aspen forest is greening up and that may assist with the containment of the fire.
Visitors to the backcountry are advised to use caution when lighting fires and to ensure that they are properly extinguished.
No fire bans or trail closures are in place at this time.
Officials from neighbouring municipalities, local fire departments, health authorities and the province are being kept informed about the status of the wildfire.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 19, 2012