Manitoba kayaker facing charges, fines after visiting high-risk wildfire area

A kayaker is facing a $3,000-plus fine after heading to Gem Lake in Nopiming Provincial Park, where backcountry travel is currently banned due to an extremely high fire risk in the area.

In a Friday news release, the provincial government said a conservation officer along with a park patrol officer from the Lac du Bonnet district found a man at the lake trailhead on July 15, after receiving a tip there was someone in the area.

When officers questioned him, the person became hostile and refused to co-operate, the release says.

Read more: Smoke, wildfire restrictions continue throughout Manitoba

The provincial government says the man was told about the restrictions the day before, but he returned to the area after Manitoba Wildfire Service members left their staging area, bypassing multiple signs indicating the roads were closed.

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The officers arrested and charged him under The Wildfires Act for entering the area without a travel permit. The man is also facing a charge for obstructing an officer.

A spokesperson with the Manitoba government told Global News they couldn’t provide more details on the incident beyond the news release, saying the matter was before the courts.

People can access information on the province’s burning and travel restrictions along with updates on Manitoba’s wildfires on the province’s website.

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