Fire departments kept busy -Fire bans stressed

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Added: Wed, 05/23/2018 - 11:17am
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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC – Fire departments were kept busy, May 14, responding to at least three significant fires in the region.
In Thorne along Highway 366, a spark from an outdoor furnace is suspected to have caused a forest fire that, according to Mayor Karen Daly-Kelly, affected approximately five acres. The blaze started around 2:30 pm and was put out by about 9 pm by the Thorne and Otter Lake fire departments, as well as a crew from SOPFEU, a forest protection society who arrived later in the evening, and a water-bombing aircraft that also responded to a forest fire in Bryson. The situation was monitored throughout the night and the next day to ensure the fire did not re-ignite.
Another forest fire along Highway 148 in Bryson was reported around 3:30 pm.
The Campbell's Bay/Litchfield and Bryson/Grand Calumet/Portage (BGCP) fire departments responded, as well as a water-bomber. The fire was put out by evening, but people remained on site overnight and the next day to monitor it. It re-ignited in the morning of May 15, but was quickly extinguished. An area about a kilometre long was affected. Although the cause is not known for sure, according to Gerald Stewart, BGCP Fire Chief, a cigarette butt thrown from a vehicle is suspected, given that the fire started in the ditch.
In Norway Bay, an early morning fire caused extensive damage to the home of Rod Twolan. Houses are very close to one another in that area, so it is fortunate that neighbours saw the smoke and called authorities. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation. 
Because the land is very dry at the moment, Daly-Kelly and Stewart stressed there currently are fire bans in their respective municipalities, which is also the case with many others. Residents are asked to use extreme caution and consult with their municipality about regulations prior to lighting any fire.