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Canadian Canoe Routes

Manitoba campfires
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Author:  arrowheadpaddler [ June 30th, 2019, 7:56 am ]
Post subject:  Manitoba campfires

My planned Wallace-Bloodvein-Gammon loop was derailed last August due to the big fire, so I went to Quetico instead. I am trying to plan a shorter trip from Wallace to Aikens and back this August, but in reading Manitoba trip discussion threads I read that campfires are banned in Manitoba from April-October, and read the same thing on official Manitoba government websites. I like to do a much of my cooking over an open fire, so I am glad I read this ahead of time. I did see though that open fires are allowed in fire pits in campgrounds, so is it allowed to use a fire pan in the backcountry? What about twig stoves? Thanks for any help.

Author:  Paddle Power [ June 30th, 2019, 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

I’d say many canoe trippers cook by burning wood and bring a fuel stove for back up.

Definitely use a firebox/twig stove etc. and practice safe cooking by fire.

Author:  recped [ June 30th, 2019, 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

Try searching the archives, there were some long threads on this topic a few years ago during periods of really bad wildfires. I seem to recall there being a difference between a "campfire" and a fire specifically intended for cooking at least as far as the general fire ban. More complete bans being issued in specific areas when warranted.

But please don't take my dodgy memory as reliable.

Author:  arrowheadpaddler [ June 30th, 2019, 10:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

Thanks for the replies. I found a couple of threads in the archives that helped:


Author:  Wilsauceez [ July 1st, 2019, 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

Hey Arrow ... I'm in On so laws may differ, but I have a story that may interest you.

Four years ago I meet two Wardens who came over to talk to me as I was finishing off a trip in a fire ban area. They asked me what I thought? what I saw? just making shooting the breeze. I asked about the law"s" of a stick stoves during fire bans. Neither warden had ANY idea what a stick stove, twig stove or fire box was/is (which completely blew me away).

I took out my stove and started to assemble/explain how it. Before I had it put together I mentioned it had a bottom. Right away they both said that it was legal to use, because of the bottom. I didn't even have it half way put together and they were 100% convinced it was legal.

They then went into detail on how "most" areas with fire bans are worried about ground heat setting fires then actual air borne sparks.

I am just like you, fires are apart of my overall trip enjoyment. Having said that, even with hearing what the two Wardens had to say, I have yet to use my stick stove during a fire ban. So I've been told its ok and I'm still reluctant to use it. So how confused am I LOL. My luck, I'd get caught cooking with fire, I'd tell them this story and he/she would call me a liar and fine me LOL.

In the end if you were ever caught using a stick stove in a fire ban zone, I think it would come down to what type of Warden caught you and how you were using it. Imagine cooking your food with stick stove (a small "CONTROLLED" fire) on a rock base right beside a water source with no trees or tree roots around and still getting a fine. IDK about anyone else; law or no law, I'd be pretty peeved in that scenario.

Author:  Marten [ July 1st, 2019, 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

I think if you read the Manitoba law it says you can only have a fire in an approved "fire pot." What that is is not described. I am from the central USA and am always surprised at how dry conditions can get in Ont. and Manitoba. A blowing spark can start a fire! White gas stoves can easily start the ground burning too. Best practice is to to be smart in whatever you use. You will see numerous fire rings on your route in Manitoba.

Author:  Neil Fitzpatrick [ July 2nd, 2019, 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

I have a Littlbug Sr with a bottom bowl. Even with the bowl you have to be careful where you put it when conditions are bad for fires. You won't have trouble finding granite to place a stick stove on at most sites.

Be careful and cool whatever doesn't burn. I usually carry my Littlbug bowl to the river and dump the coals so there's no chance of starting a fire.

You'll find fire rings at most campsites in the area though many aren't used.

Some people seem to view unnecessarily large fires as a requirement. Overused (especially large ones that youth camps use) sites can become stripped of fuel for others to use.

Officially open fires are banned but just be very careful. I wouldn't ask anyone for an official ruling on your stick stove.

Author:  segosih [ December 26th, 2019, 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

The use of a firebox is allowed in most jurisdictions during a fire ban and ours is a blanket policy brought in after the disastrous summer in the 80's where most of the northern parts of the province burned. It is not aimed at current conditions. When things get too dry, you now see a total back country access ban instead.

Rock rings do not appear to meet the description of "approved fire pit " and I think if pressed on the matter the MNR would likely just ban any source of open fire with wood. I sometimes, in cooler wetter weather will use a fire or twig stove but for the most part I cowgirl up and drag the two burner coleman stove with me, usually with a stand. Because I like to cook standing up. On shorter trips or day trips I will take a small propane canister with a screw on burner to save weight. Breakfast is so much easier on a stove when you are packing up and moving.

Author:  Alan Gage [ December 26th, 2019, 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

I've cooked meals over my twig stove in Manitoba and on occasion have cooked over a small open fire.

I've done that with the realization that what I was doing was probably illegal and that if a warden were to see me I might get fined for it. For me it was worth the risk.

My twig stove doesn't have a bottom but I always cook with it over bare rock. Open fires as well.


Author:  segosih [ December 26th, 2019, 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

Exactly Alan. If you use common sense and keep it to small cooking fires in safe areas when it is not too windy then there will be no problem for the most part. As with most rules though it is open to some interpretation by the guy with the badge.

As I said earlier...if it gets to the point where you should not have fires, they kick you out of the back country anyway.

Author:  chris randall [ December 30th, 2019, 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

Watching Paul Kirtley from the UK on Youtube this evening, a solo trip on the Berens river, he probably didn't even know there were rules about fires, at least it didn't look like it!

Author:  crowmaster [ May 2nd, 2020, 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Manitoba campfires

chris randall wrote:
Watching Paul Kirtley from the UK on Youtube this evening, a solo trip on the Berens river, he probably didn't even know there were rules about fires, at least it didn't look like it!

I thought of that too. He just posted part 4 of his Berens trip and his fires don't look like an "approved fire pit." So if a warden were out there, and happened upon on him, I expect he probably would have been fined?

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