Nova Scotia

Forest fire near Kejimkujik burns entire Christmas tree farm

A long-time Nova Scotia farmer says his scorched field of Christmas trees would have sold for at least $100,000.

'Due to my age, that's the end of that,' says Dan Rowter after touring scorched land

Dan Rowter says his Christmas tree woodlot in Seven Mile Lake, N.S., (shown here before the fire) has burned down. (Submitted by Dan Rowter)

A long-time Nova Scotia farmer says his burned field of Christmas trees would have sold for at least $100,000. 

The lush, green trees caught fire this week as a forest fire swept through woodlots in Seven Mile Lake near Kejimkujik National Park. 

"I could make Charlie Brown trees," farmer Dan Rowter, 63, said Thursday afternoon.

"The Christmas tree thing for me, due to my age, that's the end of that."

'Black mess of soot'

Rowter toured the damage to his entire 25 to 30 acre Christmas tree lot Thursday, and found only blackened skeletons of trees left.

"It was just a black mess of soot," Rowter told CBC's Maritime Noon after the tour. 

He's not yet sure of the damage to the rest of his several hundred acre woodlot, but said the fire jumped parts of it, and "didn't burn everything, so that was a little bit of a bonus."

Christmas tree not insured

The Christmas tree farm was not insured, he told CBC's Maritime Noon. Nova Scotia's department of Agriculture confirmed by email that Christmas trees are not an insurable crop under provincial programs

"It'll be a long time on that piece [of land] before you see green again," Rowter said.

"It's sad to think that something like this has to happen, but you've got no control over it."

The province's firefighters need a sustained rain in order to gain control over the persistent fire, which covered at least 377 hectares Thursday, Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines has said. 

With files from CBC's Maritime Noon

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