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COVID-19: City of Winnipeg response and latest updates on City facilities and services COVID-19 : Mesures prises par la Ville de Winnipeg et dernières nouvelles sur les installations et services municipaux
Media Releases

May 21, 2020


Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responds to a house fire on Arnold Avenue

Released: 8:19 a.m.

Winnipeg, MB – At 8:32 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) responded to reports of a fire in a one-and-a-half storey, single-family home in the 300 block of Arnold Avenue. When crews arrived on scene, they encountered smoke coming from the exterior of the home. An attack was launched and the fire was declared under control at 8:43 p.m.

Occupants of the home self-evacuated prior to the arrival of crews. One of them was assessed on scene by paramedics but did not require transport to hospital. No other injuries were reported. Firefighters located and rescued two cats from the home.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental, due to the careless disposal of a cigarette butt. Residents are reminded smoking materials/butts should always be extinguished in an ashtray or deep metal container filled partway with sand or water. Do not dispose of butts with regular trash without first dousing the butt with water.

As well, plant pots should never be used as an ashtray. Potting soil is a mix of dirt and a number of combustible organic materials such as peat moss, shredded wood, and minerals which are combustible. When a butt is put into a planter, it can smolder for several hours. Once the container heats up, it can crack, giving the smoldering material oxygen and the opportunity to spread to other combustibles such as decks, balconies, walls, etc. Butts should also never be thrown from balconies, car windows, or disposed of near any vegetation such as grass or brush.

Insect Control Update #2

Tree pest caterpillar control program commences

Released: 12:47 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – On Sunday, May 24, 2020, weather permitting, the City of Winnipeg’s Insect Control Branch will commence its tree pest caterpillar control program starting at 9:30 p.m. in Insect Management Areas IMA 5 (Glenelm) and IMA 2 (Kildonan Drive). Spraying is scheduled to occur Sunday to Thursday evenings during this projected 5-6 week program. Spraying will not occur if there is significant rainfall or winds are greater than 20 km/hr.

“Current surveillance information indicates that the tree pest caterpillar larvae are feeding on the leaves” said Ken Nawolsky, Superintendent of Insect Control. “Winnipeggers can expect to see moderate levels of defoliation in some parts of the city in June based on surveillance information.”

This season’s program will be treating City boulevards and focusing on City parks and cemeteries where tree pest caterpillar species are starting to cause defoliation on city trees. 

Treatment will be conducted utilizing Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki (Btk), a biological, organic product which is sprayed from high pressure tree sprayers directly onto the foliage of the trees located in City parks and on City boulevards. Once Btk is ingested by the tree pest caterpillars, they stop feeding and perish approximately two to three days later. This product has been approved for use in Canada by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and will be used in accordance with federally approved label directions by licensed pesticide applicators.

Buffer zones

All buffer zones will be respected. Crews will ensure that the sprayer is not treating within 30 metres on each side of a registered property on the front street, side street, and rear lane.

Residents can apply for a 30-metre buffer zone in order to exempt their property during a tree pest caterpillar treatment program. Property owners not wanting insecticides applied on or adjacent to their principal residence may register as “Anti-Pesticide Registrants” for tree pest caterpillar control using Btk. Those who want to register must provide identification that ties the registrant to the address being registered for a buffer zone. A photocopy or scanned document such as a driver’s licence or utility bill will suffice as acceptable identification proving primary residence.

Due to COVID-19, you may not register for a buffer zone in person. Buffer zone applications must be received through one of the following options:

Register for notification

The City offers an automated telephone and email notification system. Residents who register for this service will receive daily phone or email notifications for tree pest control activities. To register for the automated email or telephone notifications, residents can go to City of Winnipeg – Register for Notification or contact 311.

More information

For more information, contact 311or visit the City’s Insect Control website.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responds to fire on Selkirk Avenue

Released: 5:10 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – At 3:05 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, 2020, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) responded to reports of a fire in a vacant bungalow in the 700 block of Selkirk Avenue. The house had previously been damaged by fire in November 2018.

When crews arrived on scene, they encountered heavy smoke and flames coming from the structure. The fire extended to the two neighbouring homes - one which was vacant and also had previous fire damage and one which was occupied. An attack was launched and the fire extension in both neighbouring houses was quickly brought under control. The fire in the house where today’s fire originated was declared under control at 3:58 p.m. In order to extinguish hotspots, heavy machinery is being brought in to demolish the house.

Occupants of the occupied neighbouring home were evacuated by crews. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  No damage estimates are available at this time.

Selkirk Avenue is currently closed to traffic between Parr Street and McKenzie Street. It will open once crews complete their work on scene.

May 22, 2020