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Fire Restriction Print E-mail
Monday, 18 July 2011 20:16

Restricted Fire Zones


A "Restricted Fire Zone" is an Order made by the Minister of Natural Resources, under the Forest Fires Prevention Act, that restricts the use of open fires in a specific area of the province. It is used when the fire hazard is extreme and/or when fire fighting resources are stretched to capacity.

What You Should Know About Restricted Fire Zones

It’s Important. And It’s the Law!

A Restricted Fire Zone is designated by an Order made by the Minister of Natural Resources. It is strictly enforced throughout the restricted area. It’s a drastic measure, taken only when necessary, but it has proven effective when the forest fire danger reaches the crisis level.

A Restricted Fire Zone does not restrict movement or recreational activity in the forest, but it does restrict the use of fire. After a Restricted Fire Zone has been declared, it is illegal to set out a fire for any purpose within the affected area, and failure to comply could result in a fine up to $1,000, three months in jail, and financial responsibility for any costs incurred in fighting a forest fire caused by the illegal act.

It’s a tough law, but a necessary one - one that’s helping save thousands of hectares of forest.

The Legend Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 17:39

Story submitted by Carol Carlson, originally written in 2004

It was 1952 – 52 years ago today that Lorac and Mij moved to a place called Minaki with their Mom and Dad. They had always lived in a big city so it was going to be very different living in a place everyone called The Lake. They arrived very late at night by train and the first thing they saw were big huge high rocks. Mij said to Lorac, this is going to be a great place to play cowboys and Indians.

The house where they lived was right on the edge of the water. There was a big ramshackle, rickety, old boathouse, kind of spooky. It use to be a sawmill and there were lots of rooms and the whole place was very dirty and falling apart. There was a rickety dock where Lorac and Mij liked to go and throw rocks in the water. Neither one of the children could swim and their parents told them to be very careful down there. An old man named Roy lived up on the top of the hill, he didn't like these two kids – mind you – he didn't like anybody. He saw the two kids playing on the dock one day and said 'be careful you don't fall in the water – The Legend might get you'. Mij asked him 'what's the legend?' Roy said 'it's a big ole fish that likes to eat little children'. Mij and Lorac asked their Mom if this was true. Absolutely Not' she said, fish do not eat kids – kids eat fish.

Read more: The Legend
Gentle Ben Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 20:27

Gentle Ben

By Jake MacDonald

After a long career in the NHL, centre Randy Gilhen and his Veloy were looking for a place where they could teach their kids Scott and Alexandra about nature. In 1991 they bought a cottage at West Hawk Lake, Manitoba. The forests around their cottage are full of wildlife and, during a Christmas visit in 1999 they saw a large whitetail buck in the yard. Randy says, “He acted unusual, just staring at us. I was wary, because his neck was still swollen from the rut, but he seemed friendly so I gave him an apple.”

Veloy looked into the buck's eyes and saw a “gentle expression I had never seen before.” They saw the deer again in the summer. “He started coming every day at dusk,” says Veloy. “He loved to have his velvet antlers rubbed, and one day he started licking my leg. We started calling him 'Gentle Ben.' We gave him cracked corn, but I don't think it was just the food that interested him, because if we put the food out, he’d leave unless we stayed with him. It was like he wanted to socialize.”

“The kids loved that deer,” says Randy. “Sometimes we’d leave Alexandra baby-sitting Scott, and when we got home they’d have all these stories about how they’d spent the evening patting the deer. He was like a member of the family.”

Judging by its body size and mature antlers, the deer was already four or five years old when they first met him. Most adult white-tailed bucks don’t live much longer than that, but ‘Gentle Ben’ endured. “Every summer we were afraid it had passed away,” says Veloy. “But then I'd be working in the garden and see this big head coming down out of the woods.” As the years passed, the buck grew old and lame, and they tried not to worry about him. Says Randy, “We’re pretty realistic people. I’m a hunter, and Veloy is the daughter of a resource officer, so we knew the story would have an unhappy ending. That’s the way of Nature – it would get killed by wolves or break a leg or something like that.”

This year, on Boxing Day, they were going for a walk when Randy noticed something back in the woods. It was the tip of an antler. They walked in and found the buck's fresh body in the snow. He’d died a few days before, probably on Christmas Eve. Incredibly, he’d lived to be eleven or twelve years old. “I backtracked him for a ways,” says Randy. “There was no blood and he hadn’t been hit by a car. He just walked into the woods, curled up under a tree and went to sleep. We were sad to lose him, but we were all glad to know how he passed away.”

Randy plans to mount the antlers, along with some photographs, as a memento of their old friend. 

The Day of Days: Predicting and maximizing feeding windows Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 April 2010 12:59

By J.J. Ross       

picture_060Why do you fish? Is it the serenity of nature? Is it the social aspect that comes with sharing the boat with your buddies? Is it to spend time with a good friend or a significant other? Or maybe just to get away from that significant other? I fish to catch more than I ever have or better my previous biggest fish. As a muskie angler I am in search of what I call the day of days! Please do not misinterpret this statement as I thoroughly enjoy drowning minnows or just hanging out with my wife and kids. Yet when I am chasing muskies, I genuinely feel that every time I get in the boat I have the opportunity for the day of days.

Read more: The Day of Days: Predicting and maximizing feeding windows
Aladdin Lamps Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 April 2010 12:44

By Jake MacDonald

            To brighten up the cottage on a dark night all you need is one of those pressurized gas lanterns. Twenty strokes of the plunger and whomp, presto, you¹ve got about 100 watts of white-hot light. And the easiest way to satisfy your hunger, for that matter, is to stand in front of an open fridge and stuff big handfuls of smoked ham in your mouth. Sooner or later, though, you reach a point where you want to show a little class, and that’s when it’s time to put some thought into your lighting.

Read more: Aladdin Lamps
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