© Mike Mitchell
Firefighters battle a grass fire near Chipman Corner on April 15. – Mike Mitchell photo
Grass fire season is officially upon us, and at least a couple of local fire departments have already responded to grass and brush fires of varying sizes.
On April 15 Kentville firefighters were called to a grass fire on Church Street near Chipman Corner just before 2 p.m.
It was a large enough fire – and on a windy enough day – that mutual aid was requested from Canning at the scene, while New Minas firefighters were paged to stand in at the Kentville station.
According to Kentville fire chief Ryan MacEachern, the fire was “starting to go pretty good” by the time firefighters arrived, with winds were gusting to “at least 60,” he said.
“It wasn’t that great an idea to burn grass on that windy a day,” MacEachern added.
MacEachern urged property owners to “use caution, care and concern” when doing any burning in open areas, especially in dry and windy conditions.
“A lot of it is paying attention to what DNR is saying. These days, it’s all on their website,” he said.
“A lot of it is just common sense. You don’t burn next to an open field on a dry, windy day. It can easily get away from you. And people shouldn’t forget, if you start a fire that burns down your neighbour’s barn, you’re liable.”
It’s not that people shouldn’t burn, he says, but the reality is that a small fire can easily become a big fire, especially if it approaches woods and as the grass dries out more.
A lot of the problem, he said, is “choosing bad spots or bad surroundings, like next to woods, on a dry, windy day.”
Also on April 15, Canning firefighters responded to a grass fire on Gospel Woods Road in Arlington around 2:30 p.m. Mutual aid was requested from Kentville, while Waterville and District firefighters stood in at the Kentville station.
Fortunately, the fire was contained to a relatively small area.
“Grass fires on the mountain are always a concern,” said Canning fire department spokesperson Scott Cruickshank.
“There’s a lot of wooded area up there.”
Kentville also responded to a grass fire April 14, just after 3:30 p.m., on Brooke Street in Meadowview.
On April 16 at around 8:30 p.m., Aylesford firefighters responded to a report of a grass fire off Victoria Road in a field behind the elementary school. Aylesford had also responded to a grass fire in the same approximate area earlier in the week.