Firefighters on alert after forest fire near Kedgwick, N.B.
Firefighters spent most of Wednesday extinguishing flare-ups and soaking hot spots after a forest fire raged near Kedgwick, about 300 kilometres north of Fredericton.
The fire was reported after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. About 80 hectares of land were burned in the blaze.
“The fire spread quite fast because we had a lot of wind yesterday,” says Guy Levasseur, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources. “The humidity was low…and the temperature was high also, so it was a real bad condition for burning.”
The fire burned intensely and moved quickly, sweeping to within a few hundred metres of more than three dozen homes on the edge of town.
Residences along Rang 7, Rang 8 and Chemin du Moulin were evacuated Tuesday afternoon and traffic was diverted.
Kedgwick resident Cecile Aube says she scrambled to grab what she could as she fled.
“Well, I took my kid’s clothes, for my two kids, and computers and CDs that has souvenirs on it, photos,” says Aube.
A reception centre was set up in a community hall in the village for people who needed shelter.
More than 60 firefighters and half a dozen water bombers battled the blaze. Bulldozer crews worked around the community throughout the night to keep it from encroaching on the village.
Mayor Jean Paul Savoie says the crews saved the village from potential disaster.
“It was 1,000 feet from the houses and the wind changed and it turned around and then it jumped on the other side of the road,” says Savoie. “And the fire people from Kedgwick succeeded to stop it. If they wouldn’t have stopped it here, then the village was in a bad position.”
According to the Department of Natural Resources, the fire subsided substantially overnight.
While the fire is now contained, crews remain in alert and ready to respond if necessary.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell