The Rural Municipality of Piney remains under a State of Local Emergency and Council has issued a complete burn ban.

The wildland fire burning near the community of Sandilands remains uncontained and active. Officials say current weather conditions are not favourable and there is little moisture in the forecast. To date, no structures have been lost to the wildland fire; crews continue to focus on value protection on those properties greatest at risk.

According to the RM of Piney, the amount of visible smoke has decreased and provincial fire crews have been able to hold the situation. Weather conditions are still dry, resulting in extreme fire risk. The public is advised to adhere to the fire bans, travel restrictions and use caution.

"We really want people to stay out of the fire zone," says Geoffrey Smith, Incident Commander with Manitoba Wildfire Service. "So our firefighters don't have to worry about traffic or for people to get trapped inside the fire."

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Credit: RM of Piney

The Sandilands Main Market Road remains closed and will likely remain closed for the next few days, as crews continue to utilize this road for access to the burn area.

"It's a very large fire," adds Smith. "Over nineteen hundred hectares now. And we have a great deal of fire line to patrol and monitor to make sure we don't have anything get outside of our fire line. So we're here for quite a few days yet."

A complete burn ban for the RM of Piney is now in place. No burning of any solid fuel is permitted; this includes campfires, burn barrels and outdoor stoves. Only propane barbeques and propane fire pits are permitted.

The Municipality remains confident in the efforts completed to protect lives and private property. Should the situation change, and there is the need to notify residents, the RM shall start actively notifying those affected by the change in events. The communities of Sandilands, Woodridge and St. Labre are not at risk. Travel to properties in these communities is permitted.

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