Firefighters continue to battle "a number of active fires in the area around Flin Flon and The Pas," according to the Manitoba Government, and special air quality statements remain in effect for both communities and the surrounding regions.

Over 500 residents were forced to evacuate the community of Cranberry Portage over the weekend, and the government says it's still unknown when residents might be allowed back. That fire had started by a lightning strike and is now approximately 31,600 hectares.

The province says that air tankers and helicopters with buckets have been working on the fire, with more crews from Ontario expected this weekend to support.

Another fire near Wanless, Man., which is north of The Pas is now approximately 2,785 hectares. Officials say that it is 2.5 kilometres from the community of Wanless.

"Crews are working to protect the hydro line between The Pas and Cranberry Portage," the May 15 fire bulletin says. "There has been no damage at this time. The fire is approximately 2 km away from PTH 10. Those travelling on PTH 10 may be impacted by poor visibility due to smoke."

Early Thursday morning Environment Canada ended a special air quality statement for Brochet and Lynn Lake in northern Manitoba. But, special air quality statements remain in effect for The Pas, Flin Flon, and the surrounding regions.

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From Environment Canada:

Current details:
Wildfire smoke will continue causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in some areas through the rest of the week.

Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour.

The fine particles in wildfire smoke pose the main health risk. As smoke levels increase, health risks increase.

People more likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke include seniors, pregnant women and pregnant people, people who smoke, infants and young children, people who work outdoors, people involved in strenuous outdoor exercise and people with an existing illness or chronic health condition. Those who are more likely to be impacted should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors or seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms.

Listen to your body and if you experience symptoms, consider reducing or stopping strenuous outdoor activities. Symptoms can include milder and more common symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as serious but less common symptoms such as chest pains or severe cough. If you think you are having a medical emergency, seek immediate medical assistance.

Limit time outdoors. When indoors, keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. When there is an extreme heat event occurring with poor air quality, prioritize keeping cool. Always seek out and follow health guidance from local authorities.

Protect your indoor air from wildfire smoke. Actions can include using a clean, good quality air filter in your ventilation system and/or a certified portable air purifier that can filter fine particles.

When spending time outdoors, a well-constructed, well-fitting and properly worn respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH-certified N95 or equivalent respirator) can reduce your exposure to the fine particles in the smoke. Even though exposure may be reduced, there can still be risks to health.

Check in on others who are in your care or live nearby who may be more likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke.

Take care of your mental health.

Learn more at

Visit for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.