Many Steinbach and area residents woke up this morning in a smoky haze – and it had nothing to do with what happened on Friday night.

Manitoba Conservation says forest fires underway in Northern Ontario are the culprit. The smoke from those fires is now making its way west. Many residents were wondering if it was something closer to home, or if someone was simply ignoring the Provincial Fire Ban instituted earlier in the week.

Conservation officials said while the fire risk is high right now, there are very few fires burning in Manitoba. So far, there have been half as many fires as normal this summer – and conservation officials want to keep it that way.

Crews did have to move quickly overnight to control a lightning fire near Rennie.

Manitoba Conservation is reporting a total of 217 fires, burning 84,288 hectares of land. Over the past 16-years, there’s been an average of 401 fires covering 157,668 hectares of land by now.