Wildfire, Burning & Fire Safety Information

Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources Wildfire Service is responsible for the prevention, detection and suppression of wildfires. The program manages all human and equipment resources needed for fighting wildfires in the province. These staff monitor weather patterns, lightning strikes, soil moisture and forest conditions to determine the probability and location of wildfires.

Manitoba's Wildfire Service works in close cooperation with other forest fire fighting agencies and jurisdictions. Equipment and other resources are shared through the Canadian Inter Agency Forest Fire Centre and the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact. 

To Report a Wildfire
1-800-782-0076 (toll-free)
*this is to report a fire not for local information

As the climate changes, we are seeing wildfires become more frequent and more severe. Warmer, drier temperatures from May to September lead to longer, more intense fire seasons. While communities in forested areas are particularly vulnerable, even those living in urban and rural areas feel the impacts through reduced air quality caused by drifting smoke. The risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems increase over time with continued exposure. If there’s an air quality advisory for your area:
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and avoid exercising outside.
  • Drive with the windows up and set the air to recirculate.
  • Check air advisories often. Don’t rely solely on what it looks like outside.
  • Invest in an air purifier. A good air purifier can reduce particle levels inside your home.

Plan Ahead for Any Emergency With These Essential Items

You can protect members of your household and your property by learning more about wildfires and by taking proper precautions. Make sure that your household has prepared an:

How do Wildfires Start?

Most naturally occurring wildfires in Canada start when lightning strikes a tree or another fuel source. Since these fires often happen in remote locations, they account for roughly 80% of the total area burned by wildfires. Human-caused fires generally happen in more populated areas and are extinguished quicker. Still, it’s important to be cautious and comply with fire bans during high risk periods.

How to Prevent an Out-of-Control Fire or Wildfire

  • If you notice an unattended or out-of-control fire, call 911 and the fire department will be dispatched. To Report a Wildfire, call 1-800-782-0076 (toll-free).
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Always ensure the fire is completely extinguished by dousing it with water and stirring the ashes until cold (before sleeping or leaving the campsite).
  • Always take care when using fuel type lanterns, stoves and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances.
  • Do not discard cigarettes, matches, and smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere on park grounds. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them.
  • Follow local by-laws when burning.  Avoid any burning in windy conditions and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from the yard when burning.
The municipality may implement a burn ban as a proactive measure when conditions are extremely dry and there is an elevated risk for out-of-control fires. Wind speeds and the number of fire response calls also play factors in the decision to implement a ban. These bans are enacted for everyone's safety; to protect homes, properties, lives, the community and infrastructure.
Members of Fire Hall #3 in Matlock
undergoing a training exercise

Burn ban notices will be posted on our website, sent through our CONNECT messaging system (phone call, text and email), posted on the RM's X (Twitter) and Facebook pages and signs erected at the entrances to our municipality. These bans can include all open air burning such as discharge of fireworks, use of fire pits, bonfires and all-terrain vehicle use. Residents can generally still use cooking and heating appliances, including barbecues, fire pits and patio heaters, that are fueled by liquid fuel such as propane or natural gas unless otherwise specified in the ban.

You can view a map of all the current municipal burn restrictions and bans in the Province here - Municipal Burn Restrictions Map. Please also familiarize yourself with the RM's Burning By-Law to learn what you can and cannot burn and in what areas.
Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development has a Manitoba Controlled Crop Residue Burning Program in place. It is the farmer's responsibility to ensure that burning is conducted legally and safely, and that smoke does not cause problems

Smoke from burning crop residues affects people's health, road safety and the environment. Manitoba's smoke management plan encourages practical and responsible ways of dealing with crop residue. If you must burn, you must adhere to Manitoba's Controlled Crop Residue Burning Program

Before you burn, call 1-800-265-1233 or check for daily authorizations online at manitoba.ca/agriculture

The Manitoba Controlled Crop Residue Burning Program is in place from August 1 to November 15 each year. Based on weather conditions, start and end times for burning will be established. In addition to the Manitoba Controlled Crop Residue Burning Program, check and follow all other provincial and municipal burning requirements.

No permits are issued by the R.M. of St. Andrews. Any permits must be obtained from the Province through the following application form: Crop Residue Burning Permit Application Form  

If you plan on burning a field or large span of grass or brush, we ask that you notify the local fire chief so that they are aware should a 911 call come in and they can ensure that the appropriate water supply is on hand should it get out of control or they will advise against burning due to the conditions. If a fire does get out of control and spreads out onto adjacent properties, the property owner can be fined under The Wildfires Act as well as the RM's Burning By-Law No. 4326


Natural Disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes can damage asbestos-containing materials and lead to asbestos exposure among first responders, cleanup crews and nearby residents. Learn how to prevent asbestos exposure when preparing for and cleaning up after a natural disaster.

Check out this guide to learn more about the topics below as well as other safety tips and information on Wildfire Safety.

  • How is Asbestos a Risk During a Natural Disaster
  • What to Do During Wildfires
  • How to Prevent Asbestos Exposure from Other Disasters

Another great source of information is this Homeowners Guide to Asbestos.


FireSmart begins at home. Home and property owners can reduce their risk of wildfire impacts by implementing FireSmart recommendations on building materials and vegetation. Homes, out buildings, trees, shrubs and grasses are all fuel to a wildfire but proper cleaning, thinning and spacing can help reduce the danger of devastating wildfire losses.

Visit www.FireSmartCanada.ca for more information on FireSmart: Protecting Your Community From Wildfire, or the FireSmart Canada Community Recognition Program. Other useful FireSmart prevention resources are listed below.