Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Forest fire near McAdam, New Brunswick, continues out of control

About 15 hectares have burned in Modsley Lake area since fire started on weekend from lightning

CBC News Posted: Aug 09, 2016 10:46 AM AT Last Updated: Aug 09, 2016 5:58 PM AT
A forest fire near McAdam continues to burn out of control reports the New Brunswick Forest Fire Centre.

The fire near Modsley Lake had burned approximately 15 hectares as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Water bombers were called in Tuesday afternoon as the fire was starting to break through the retardant line that was laid out Monday.
They managed to keep the fire from growing and kept it within that 15 hectare area.

The forest fire centre reports that firefighters continue to make progress, but it is still not contained due to the rocky terrain, which is making it difficult to work.

Officials believe a lightning strike started the fire over the weekend.

High winds on Monday fanned the flames and caused the fire to spread.

As of Tuesday afternoon, all counties in New Brunswick are closed for burning.

There have been 250 forest fires to date in the province this year, which have burned about 250.2 hectares.

The number of fires to date is above the 10-year average of 205, however the area burned to date is below the 10-year average of 314 hectares.

Forest fire near Seven Mile Lake, in Nova Scotia, prompts air quality alerts

Size of fire ballooned overnight and is now 240 hectares near Kejimkujik National Park

By Elizabeth McMillan, CBC News Posted: Aug 09, 2016 7:20 AM AT Last Updated: Aug 09, 2016 5:26 PM AT
A persistent forest fire near Kejimkujik National Park in western Nova Scotia has prompted air quality alerts for much of that part of the province.

Environment Canada issued special weather statements for Annapolis, Kings, Lunenburg and Queens counties, warning of smoke and reduced air quality due to the Seven Mile Lake fire.

"Higher pollution levels are expected to persist through Wednesday," the agency said.

The fire burned through 100 additional hectares of forest overnight and now covers 240 hectares in Annapolis County, Department of Natural Resources officials said Tuesday.

"We really need some weather to co-operate with us and we're not getting that right now," said Jim Rudderham, the department's forest protection operations manager.
'Came to life again' overnight
Ground crews were forced to pull out of the area on Monday evening when the fire "came to life again."

They came back on Tuesday, with water bombers dumping water and retardant on the perimeter of the fire while ground crews attacked it on the rear and sides.

Fast-moving fire

"It's going to be the ground crews that are going to extinguish that fire," said Dave Steeves, a firefighter and spokesman for the department.

"We need the winds to slow down and we need either a big increase in relative humidity or some type of precipitation event."

Extremely dry conditions and gusting winds are adding to the challenge as the fire moves through Crown land and is travelling east.

There has been no evacuations and no structural damage to any property.

The fire moved so fast that Rudderham says crews haven't been possible to remove brush and create a fire break — an open space the fire won't be able to jump across.

  • Fire crews 'biting and clawing' to contain forest fires in western Nova Scotia

  • Dozens of firefighters with the Department of Natural Resources, as well as 19 volunteer firefighters and four people from Parks Canada were working to contain the blaze Tuesday. Nine fire trucks, six pieces of heavy equipment, two helicopters and six water bombers — including two from Quebec — were also on the scene.

    "All that we've had left we've thrown at that fire," Rudderham said from the province's wildfire co-ordination centre in Shubenacadie.

    'Scared to death when the phone rings'

    Part of the problem is that the fire is burning deep into the forest's root system.
    "The ground is just so dry, all the fuels in the ground are so dry. In places these fires will burn in the ground two feet or more. You physically have to dig them out and put the fire out," Rudderham said.

    "That's why the woods are closed. Just try to reduce any starts. We're just scared to death when the phone rings here."

    Thick smoke from the fire was interfering with visibility on Highway 8 near Maitland Bridge.

    Trails off limits

    Two other fires that started last week in Maitland Bridge and Greenfield are contained. Provincial crews are on those sites ensuring there are no flare ups.

    A new fire in West Dalhousie — also in Annapolis County — was reported Tuesday and staff are investigating, the department said.

    CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said the dry conditions will continue as there is no rainfall expected Tuesday or Wednesday. There should be some isolated showers on Thursday and Friday and widespread rainfall isn't expected until Saturday.

    The dry weather prompted the provincial government to restrict hiking, camping, fishing and using off-highway vehicles in wooded areas.

    People will still be able to access beaches and provincial parks close to wooded areas but they will not be able to hike on Crown land.

  • See which areas are off limits as province faces high forest fire risk

  • The restrictions began at noon on Tuesday. People who defy the ban could be fined $180.

    Parks Canada also closed backcountry campsites and trails within Kejimkujik National Park until further notice. Campers could be seen packing up and leaving the park on Tuesday afternoon.

    Smaller wildfires around the province

    Fire crews were also working on a small fire at Perch Lake in Pictou County that flared up late
    Monday. It's about 10 hectares in size and was mostly under control by Tuesday afternoon.
    Officials say a small fire in Collingwood, Cumberland County, has also been contained.