Sep 11, 2018: Forest fires on the upswing in Nova Scotia

Our encouragement of softwoods over hardwoods hasn’t helped

Burn restrictions for Sep 11, 2018, 2:00 pm to Sep 12, 8:00 am from

Some how or another we have avoided major fires so far this summer, but a few have got out of control recently. They are particularly hazardous after prolonged drought because they will burn deep into the soil. Our encouragement of softwoods over hardwoods hasn’t helped.

Abbreviated transcript  from a CTV news video (Sep 11, 2018):

CTV: Nova Scotia’s Natural Resources department is restricting all travel and activity within its forests. The goal is to reduce the risks of wild fires and its spreading. Listen to this…

Dave Steeves: It was approx 90 ha in size but we did have some growth and now we are at 140 ha in size.

CTV: Officials say several fires near Maitland Bridge in Greenfield have been contained but a forest at Seven Mile Lake is out of control..The province has called in air tankers from NB, Nfld, Labrador as well’ to try and help. Let’s go to Caledonia, NS. Mary Jane Roger Manager of the Medway Community Forest Co-op is standing by. The Crown land that you guys manage covers about 99% of the fire, how challenging has it been so far?

MJR: DNR has been very supportive and an extensive group of volunteer fire fighters… about 90 personnel are on the ground, 7 bombers came in yesterday from NB, one from Nfld.

CTV: Are you getting any sense of a timeline?

MJR: Yesterday they had to evacuate the crews, the fire was growing towards the highway, ‘may not have been safe to get out… So they took some back routes, They will continue today, conditions not in our favour, high winds extremely dry conditions… it looks like the fire will grow for a couple more days.

CTV: Based on your expertise is this kind of thing normal for this time of year?

MJR: Not for NS.. traditionally our form of forest replacement activity is through wind or … the type of trees that grow here don’t catch fire so easily; we have a lot of hardwood species but where this fire started we see a lot of spruce, a lot of balsam fir which are more typical for the boreal forest where you see a lot of fires occur. That’s essentially why it started; along with the dry fuel material that lights up very quickly.

CTV: We’ll be watching.. thanks.

Also view: In Pictures: Crews battle wildfires in Nova Scotia
#1 “Steve Amero of Hampton battles a wildfire in Seven Mile Lake, N.S.”

Also current: Fire crews battling forest fire in Woods Harbour
Kathy Johnson in Tricounty Vanguard/Chronicle Herald, Sep 11, 2018. “Fire crews from the Lands and Forestry Department and several local fire departments including Woods Harbour/Shag Harbour and Island Barrington Passage have responded to a fire in the woods behind the power line in the Upper Woods Harbour area in Shelburne County.”

Also view comments on the 2016 Aug Keji-area fires:
Ecologist’s perspective on the Keji-area fires (Post, August 17, 2016)

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