• Hunter Cresswell

Burn turns into bush-fire

By Hunter Cresswell Look no further than Edelweiss on May 3 for the reason open fires are banned in the area.

A fire that was started by a resident turned into a brush fire on the afternoon of May 3 near the intersection of Chemins Edelweiss and du Mont Caron in La Pêche. Photo courtesy Michael Kinghorn

A fire started by a resident to burn leaves and other debris near Chemin du Mont Caron turned into a three hectare brush fire that La Pêche Fire Department, Val-des-Monts Fire Department and Société de Protection des Forêts Contre le Feu (SOPFEU) personnel responded to around 3 p.m.

“The fire was quite rapidly heading up the hill,” SOPFEU Maniwaki fire information officer Melanie Morin said, noting that the gusty weather drove the fire to spread quickly.

The fire threatened several residences in the area, but no evacuations were necessary, she said.

At the scene of the fire on Sunday, only wisps of smoke could be seen coming out of the woods and over the highway from where an MRC des Collines Police officer wouldn’t let this reporter past to take photos. The police controlled traffic on the highway while fire personnel fought the blaze.

The fire was contained about four hours after it started but a SOPFEU fire crew went back to the scene on May 4 to extinguish hot spots and check for flare-ups, Morin said.

The fire was lit despite SOPFEU’s April 23 ban on open fires across swaths of Quebec including the MRC des Collines and MRC la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau. The fire spread despite rainy weather in the days leading up to the fire.

“A few hours of sun and wind and things dry up really quickly this time of year,” Morin said.

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