The wave of heat and dryness Southern Manitoba has been experiencing this summer makes for perfect fire-starting conditions, says Altona Fire Chief Greg Zimmerman. He said with harvest approaching, farmers should especially pay

Altona/Rhineland fire Chief Greg Zimmerman (submitted photo) attention to their machinery and fields

"I just ask that all the farmers ... have a portable extinguisher with them on their equipment, and keep it close at hand and ready to use, and make sure all the equipment is well-maintained," he said.

Zimmerman emphasized, while extinguishers can be helpful, it is best to call 911 no matter how small or large the fire is.

"It's better [the fire department] gets notice, and starts the ball rolling and getting organized, and then standing down, than being called later when the fire gets bigger," he said.

The Chief said, ultimately, the best way to prevent a fire is to keep an eye on your surroundings and be aware of the conditions.