Forest fire in Miramichi contained, crews monitoring hot spots
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 2:23PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, May 15, 2018 6:55PM ADT
Officials say a forest fire that damaged more than a dozen utility poles in Miramichi is now under control.
The fire flared up Monday afternoon and spread quickly, spanning 5 kilometres in length and a kilometre in width.
While the fire is under control, hot spots remain a concern, so crews spent Tuesday dousing smoke to ensure the fire doesn’t reignite and spread.
Miramichi Deputy Fire Chief Mario Berthiaume says weather conditions made it difficult to fight the fire.
“Because of the high winds we had yesterday, the fire jumped sporadically,” says Berthiaume.
He says crews are also dealing with a mix of conditions in the woods.
“There’s a lot of moisture still in the ground, so I would think it’s a good opportunity to really have some progression with the fire,” says Berthiaume. “Where the fire has passed, there are some dry sections, some moss that has dried up, which presents some concerns to us.”
Two water bombers from the Department of Natural Resources also responded to the scene, along with NB Power crews. The utility says about 18 poles were damaged in the fire.
Area resident Courtney Underhill says the erratic fire even came close to threatening her home.
“We couldn’t really see flames, just black smoke beyond the kids’ treehouse, and the bombers really, really low, just dropping really, really low onto our property, so it was pretty frightening,” says Underhill.
She says she was ready to evacuate her home, if the flames came too close for comfort.
“I was really worried. I packed my belongings and anything that couldn’t be replaced and the kids’ favourite toys and stuffies,” says Underhill. “We were ready to leave at a moment’s notice.”
Fire crews even resorted to using water from the family’s pool to push the flames back.
“They came and hooked up the pump and they wet our back lawn and the trees just because the fire was getting so close,” she says.
Fire crews say they will continue to monitor the scene to ensure the fire doesn’t spark up again.
According to the provincial government website, there are six forest fires still burning in northern New Brunswick.
A province-wide burn ban is in effect.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis