,Liverpool, Greenfield, North Queens, and Port Medway and Mill Village Fire Departments were all called out to battle forest fires or grass fires – sometimes three times a day – last weekend.
It’s a very early start to fire season, says Kendall Farmer, Chief of the Port Medway Fire Department.
“We answered 11 calls within seven days,” says Farmer.
And some of those were bad fires.
“We had a bad forest fire back at a camp that burnt on the old Port Road Medway back – that burned just less than half a hectare,” he says.
The department was on scene for three hours.
There was another one on Eastern Shore Road.. That one burned six hectares, says Farmer.
“We had numerous mutual aid calls to stand by for Liverpool as they fought fires,” says Farmer.
In comparison, he says, from January to April 15 in 2016 – Port Medway responded to six fire calls. This year, it was 38.
“My biggest recommendation is don’t burn. People don’t realize how dry it is. In my opinion it should be a total ban at this point.”
Last year, firefighters in Queens spent the summer putting out major fires in the region.
“I hope this isn’t an indication of what’s going to happen this year but it’s been a rough start,” he says.
Farmer says some of the fires are breaking out because of the ice storm that happened in March. That storm has done damage to trees and power lines and – and some of those lines are arcing now.
“One of our calls was a tree across a power line that had snapped off during the ice storm and it blew on a line,” he says.
In Greenfield, two grass fires were caused by power lines going down.
Chris Wolfe is Chief of North Queens Fire Department.
That department responded to a forest fire in Molega Road that started on an old railbed.
He says the fire was in a tree lot, and burned about one hectare.
North Queens also helped Greenfield on the Old Garden road.
Wolfe says too some of the fires were caused by power lines, but others by the dry conditions.
“People have to be a little more cautious on their spring burning,” he says.
There is a province-wide daytime burn ban in effect.
“It’s shaping up to be like last summer,” says Wolfe. “But this is Nova Scotia so things could change in a heartbeat.”
Liverpool Fire Department responded to fires on April 17, 16, three on April 15, and one on April 14.
Residents who want to burn should check to see if there is a ban in effect. The site can be found here.