Friday, 25 May 2012

Volunteer firefighters & firebans, ignore them at OUR peril

Why do we have fire bans?

Because fighting fires in cottage country is a tricky thing.
Unfortunately, many ignore them.
Fire bans include fireworks.
I know I write for those who agree with me.
The solution? Phone the fire department if you see an illegal fire.

Access in cottage country is the first issue. The woods have been dry this spring, with an early thaw, and not nearly enough spring showers.
Citiots ignore these at their peril
The second issue is that the fire ban couldn't possibly apply to me, the citiot thinks. 'I'm right by the water!'
Not so.

Muskoka had it bad last weekend – despite a TOTAL FIRE BAN
"Despite the recent rain the total fire ban remains in effect for Muskoka. The fire ban means all fires of any kind, including fireworks, are not allowed. Although the bush is starting to green up the risk of forest fire remains extreme."

Volunteers and EMS crews work hard
on land and in the water 
This fire was on an island, and while our volunteer firefighters have equipment, for both land and water, it takes time to get there.

Muskoka long weekend fires
Firefighters were looking for boaters to ferry firefighters to the island in Huntsville.

When crews arrived on the scene they found an injured man trapped on a three-foot ledge half way down the rock face of a cliff. They also discovered about four acres of land on fire.
Additional fire crews from Lake of Bays and Muskoka Lakes were brought in Monday to assist the exhausted Huntsville and Port Sydney fire crews to contain the fire. Crews will remain on scene for the next couple days cleaning up hot spots and patrolling to make sure the fire is out.”

Two injuries, a man trapped on a ledge while trying to fight the fire, three days to put it out, bringing in MNR water bombers for help.
This is serious business.
Firefighters are busy enough with fires caused by nature, let alone those caused by people.

Northern Ontario has it bad now
The Ministry of Natural Resources publishes 'Current Fire Situations', and it look terrible.

Ontario Forest Fires
 Year FiresHectares 
2011 to date 148 1,452 
10 year avg. (mean) 187 4,489 
2012 to date 335 29,304 

Northeastern Ontario continued to receive new fires on Wednesday May 23 as another 10 starts were confirmed. There are now 45 fires active in the province, 43 of them in the Northeast Region. 

Visit the MNR interactive map

More Information

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