Busy Night for Firefighters in "Silly Season"
It is wildfire season in Nova Scotia (March 15 to October 15), though some call it the “silly season”. Judging by the last 24 hours, both names apply, as firefighters responded to five widespread incidents.
It started yesterday in Malagash where Wallace firefighters battled a stubborn grass fire on the lower shore road not far from the Jost Winery.
Grass burning got out of control and spread quickly with the high winds in the area. Neighbours said flames were 30 to 40 feet high at one point.
Tonight, the Springhill Fire Department was called out to quell a truck fire on Highway 104 between Amherst and exit five. The truck had extensive damage to the front end and reports suggest someone was transported by ambulance to hospital.
The scene shifted to Linden as Shinimicas firefighters were called to a fire in an abandoned trailer along Highway 6. The fire quickly consumed the small vehicle, as black smoke from the blaze was visible all the way to Pugwash.
Then it was a turn for the Pugwash Fire Department which received a call for a garage fire on the Kolbec Road in Riverside. It turned out the blaze was another intentional burn that got out of control.
A resident was burning garbage in a fire pit behind his home. The fire jumped to dry grass and quickly spread to light brush at the edge of trees. Worse, the back of the house caught fire, melting siding and burning a portion of the back wall.
The photos show the damage to the back wall of the house, the yard, and the threat to nearby woods.
Please note that burning garbage is not permitted at any time, and is punishable by fines.
To cap off the night, Truemanville Fire Department responded to a woods fire behind the former Warren school.
In all incidents, except the truck fire, carelessness played a role in the fires. The early spring part of wildfire season gets the nickname “silly season” because of the useless practice of grass burning.
Nova Scotia is famous for the intentional grass fires that turned into major events and tragedies, and all for nothing. It is a long-standing myth that burning grass in the spring is somehow helpful. The truth is that burning grass does no good whatsoever. In fact, it harms the root system, not to mention the obvious danger of losing control and suffering greater loss to home and property.
The light winter has left the region quite dry. Burn restrictions are in force across the province. Domestic campfires and brush burning are not allowed between 8 am and 2 pm, and other restrictions may apply.
The province offers a daily update on burn restrictions at https://novascotia.ca/burnsafe/. Check before you burn.