Spring­dale res­i­dent con­cerned about camp and fires in Spring­dale

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CORY HUR­LEY

Tana Adams re­mem­bers the fear that swept through Spring­dale in 2013 when a for­est fire broke out near the mid­dle of town.

When she spot­ted a makeshift camp and burned wood around the same area last week, those feel­ings re­turned.

“With the fire bans that have been on, and with it be­ing so close to the town, a fire haz­ard is some­thing I feel needs to be brought to the at­ten­tion of lo­cal en­force­ment,” she said.

She reached out to mem­bers of the Spring­dale Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment and the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice (RCMP) to alert them of the ex­is­tence of the struc­ture and the ev­i­dence of al­ready burned wood.

Adams said she owns prop­erty in the same area near places such as the Spring­dale Her­itage Cen­tre, the Spring­dale Hos­pi­tal, and the res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood on Main Street. She is rais­ing aware­ness of its ex­is­tence of the struc­ture and the piles of wood in hopes of pre­vent­ing the dev­as­ta­tion that could oc­cur if a fire got out of con­trol.

On an af­ter­noon in July 2013, a for­est fire broke out in the mid­dle of town near homes on Main Street. Po­lice and fire­fight­ers re­sponded to the area known lo­cally as “The Bog” in Spring­dale’s east end. The blaze spread quickly, with smoke and fire bel­low­ing from the tree­tops. Some res­i­dents of the area evac­u­ated their homes.

Af­ter fire­fight­ers fought the fire for a pe­riod of time, as­sis­tance came from a Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources wa­ter bomber. It made a num­ber of passes to drop wa­ter on the area. The fire was even­tu­ally con­tained over sev­eral hours. No­body was in­jured and no homes were dam­aged.

She be­lieves the struc­ture, and the other ma­te­ri­als in the area, should be re­moved.

“Maybe some of the par­ents down in that area might know the kids up there play­ing on that hill, so they can let them know of the dan­gers,” she said.

Al­though, she hopes au­thor­i­ties will rec­og­nize those dan­gers and get rid of it them­selves.

Fire chief Ren­nie Nor­more was alarmed to find out about the sit­u­a­tion. Es­pe­cially be­cause of the sit­u­a­tion in 2013. He said know­ing there is, could have been, or might be open fires in the forested part of town is dis­turb­ing.

“It was sus­pected that is what hap­pened in 2013, but it was never proven,” he said.

The chief said he would no­tify the Town, and he would sus­pect staff would have the struc­ture re­moved. From an aware­ness and safety per­spec­tive, he said he would like to speak with the peo­ple in­volved — sus­pected to be youth — to ed­u­cate them on the dan­gers of such be­hav­ior.

Nor­more said open fires have been pro­hib­ited quite fre­quently in the area through­out the sum­mer. The depart­ment mon­i­tors the fire in­dex and has been warn­ing against open fires when the in­dex is too high.

When open fires are per­mit­ted, he said it is im­por­tant to have wa­ter on hand to ex­tin­guish the flame or in case it gets out of con­trol.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Tana Adams of Spring­dale is con­cerned about this camp and the ev­i­dence of open fires hap­pen­ing in the mid­dle of the town.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

A closer look at the struc­ture and the burned wood.

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