Grass fire concerns prompt warnings from fire chiefs
Cape Breton firefighters already getting called to put out grass fires
Firefighters in the Sydney area are already getting calls about grass fires as temperatures warm up and the snow melts.
Fire crews responded to two fires on Thursday and expect many more in the coming weeks.
Platoon Chief Paul Ferguson said some people are lighting their grass on fire in an attempt to improve their lawns.
"Contrary to what people believe, grass fires don't do those sorts of things," he said.
Ferguson said the fires destroy nutrients in soil and nesting areas for wildlife. He said firefighters responded to hundreds of calls last year and the fires put fire crews in danger and threaten property .
Ferguson said another concern is how they tie up resources, which could slow down a response to a more serious call.
"Our concern is that when our crews are out fighting grass fires, a more serious call can come in and with our crews committed to grass fires there’s always that fear of delayed response times," he said.
Glace Bay Fire Chief Jim Taylor said grass fires are often difficult to fight and place lives and property in danger.
"The big thing we’ve got to watch out for is no water supply in the immediate area and it’s a lot of resources called in to put out these fires," he said.
"We also have to keep in mind that a lot of these grass and brush fires are very close to homes and residential areas. It’s a big concern to us, for sure."
There have been so many grass fires in the past two years that the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has set up a task force to investigate them.