New Brunswick crews fight off woodland fire south of Riverview
Published Saturday, August 5, 2017 7:14PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, August 5, 2017 7:16PM ADT
Two fire departments and water bombers from Miramichi were called to the latest woodland fire in a string of New Brunswick fires at 9 a.m., Saturday morning.
Officials say they feel close to getting a handle on the fire just south of Riverview along the hydro-line, but the province’s dry forest conditions have emergency responders on high alert.
“We contacted DNR and water bombers were brought in from Miramichi, three water bombers,” says Riverview Fire Chief, Denis Pleau. “They attacked the fire off and on for about two hours. They had to go back to Moncton airport to refuel each time.”
Riverview fire and Hillsborough fire departments had crews on the ground while Moncton and Salisbury crews were on standby as well.
Chief Pleau says the remote location of the fire required heavy equipment to be called in to assist crews reach the fire.
“The first bulldozer actually built a road for us and we were able to bring our trucks down there and get closer to the fire,” he says.
The woodland fire is located in a remote section of forest between Pine Glen Road and Route 910.
Conditions within Kouchibouguac National Park are extremely dry as they are across the province which has a full fire ban is in effect.
The fire weather index or FWA determines the level of caution campers must take.
Resource conservation manager at the Kouchibouguac National Park, Phillipe St-Onge says it would take more than a passing shower to change the recent index.
“It would take a lot of rain, a good day of rain then the FW, it should lower significantly,” says St-Onge.
After last winter's devastating ice storm park officials estimate there are 10-15,000 downed trees within the Kouchibouguac National Park.
St-Onge says a team of five, level two firefighters are on standby to tackle the early stages of another fire.
“We can build a fire break with some tools so we build a fire breaks and we initially attack the fire with water,” he says.
New Brunswick has limited work in the woods to avoid accidently starting a forest fire and ATV drivers are also being asked to exercise caution and to stay on the main trails and not drive off road.
“It's a safe idea to avoid any tall grassy areas or dry brush out in clear cuts... because you can cause a fire with the hot exhaust on bikes right,” St-Orge says.
The city of Moncton has also imposed an all-out fire ban and precautions are being taken until significant rain starts to fall.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan McInnis.