Spring has arrived, and as the snow continues to melt, the season of wildland fires is coming.

On Monday, the Portage la Prairie Fire Department responded to a small wildland fire near the dump hill, which was successfully put out quickly.

Jared Bergen, a Captain at the Fire Department, says that anytime a fire is going to be lit, you need to follow the Wildfires Act.

"You need to establish a 6-metre-wide strip of inflammable land around the area that's going to be burnt. The fire has to be monitored constantly. Someone has to be at the scene of the fire the entire time it's burning."

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He notes that there also needs to be a means of extinguishment if you start a controlled fire.

"Whether that's a lot of water or fire extinguishers. They must be able to extinguish the fire themselves. We recommend not setting the fire if the winds are going to be over 15 kilometres an hour."

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In addition, Bergen says that as temperatures rise and humidity remains relatively low, you should consider waiting for better conditions.

"If you have high temperatures and low humidity, the fire is going to burn a lot more quickly. Especially like we had a couple of years ago during our drought, with high sustained winds, fire will travel quickly and get out of hand."

Not only can you engulf your own land, but if your fire extends to neighbouring properties, you can be held responsible for paying fines and damages, says the Fire Captain. 

"As soon as someone knows the fire is getting out of hand, call 911, and we'll come out there. We'll monitor the situation and decide when we get to the scene what the best option is." 

Bergen adds that those looking to conduct a controlled burn should call the fire department before lighting the fire at 204-239-8340.