New Brunswick

Fire under control in Irishtown Nature Park, says fire chief

Moncton's Fire Chief Conrad Landry says the two to three days of strong rain are needed to help alleviate dry conditions across New Brunswick.  

Most of park remains closed, three trails open

Moncton fire Chief Conrad Landry said the fire in Irishtown Nature Park is under control. (David Bell/CBC)

Fire Chief Conrad Landry of Moncton says two or three days of strong rain are needed to help alleviate dry conditions across New Brunswick.  

Most of the province is under a no burn order.

A number of factors go into determining whether there will be a fire ban in place, he said. With little rain and little green grass or foliage, the number of calls for fires has gone up.

Two fires that were out of control have now been contained. One is on along Highway 2 in the Coles Island area near Grand Lake, covering about five hectares.  

The other is in the Irishtown Nature Park, in Moncton, which was brought under control Sunday night. Landry said crews would be back at the site Monday to look for hot spots in tree roots.   

Water bombers were called in to help douse the fire, which began around 5 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Landry said sometimes it's hard to determine how the fire started.

"It's normally human error, so either someone did a fire or didn't dispose of smoking materials, but we have no idea at this point." 

Most of Irishtown Nature Park will remain closed as fire crews douse hot spots from a forest fire that burned half a hectare. (City of Moncton/Submitted)

In a post on Facebook, the city said most of the park will remain closed but three trails are open. They are: Ogilvie, Bunny Hop, and Spillway trails. 

"Signage has been installed at the park advising residents of closures due to both the fire and construction already underway," the city said.

Landry said hot weather in June made things abnormally busy for the Moncton Fire Department as crews responded to grass fires and fires in fire pits. 

"July wasn't too bad, it was kind of normal year, but in my opinion we still responded to too many. When there's a fire ban in the province, people should be extra careful."

Landry said it might be normal to respond to two or three calls a day about people not following the ban or someone burning in a fire pit that's not up to code, but these incidents shouldn't be happening. 

Most municipalities in the province have a bylaw in place for fires. The fire chief said some follow the provincial fire ban but some don't. 

"It's up to people be aware of the bylaw or the ban," Landry said. 

With files from Information Morning Moncton

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