Firefighter injured battling brush fire as Halifax imposes burn ban
Multiple fire crews responded to Hemlock Ravine Park fire, which was brought under control
A Halifax firefighter was injured while helping contain a fire at Hemlock Ravine Park Thursday, just hours before officials ordered a municipal-wide burn ban in the face of extremely dry conditions.
The firefighter suffered a "heat-stress injury," according to Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency. Fellow firefighters ripped off his clothes and doused him with water as he was on the ground.
"That firefighter is doing very well. I was just speaking to him a few moments ago," said Dave Meldrum, division chief with the fire department.
The brush fire is one of two crews faced Thursday. A second was reported during the afternoon on an island on Rocky Lake, near Bedford.
Shortly before 4 p.m., the fire department imposed an open-air burning ban for the entire municipality. A news release said residents are not allowed to burn at any time until further notice. It said the ban includes outdoor fireplaces and chimeneas.
Meldrum said the firefighter injured at Hemlock Ravine was taken to hospital for observation as a precaution but he's expected to be "just fine."
He said the fire, which was reported shortly before lunchtime, has been contained but "there's still a lot of work to do today in the woods."
Eight fire trucks and upwards of 40 firefighters were at the scene. Meldrum said crews trying to find the fire were met with thick, heavy brush.
Thick white smoke could be scene drifting over the park Thursday afternoon.
Meldrum said the fire was about 150 metres from houses on Crozier Court. The Department of Natural Resources had a helicopter at the scene and was expected to start dropping water on the fire, Halifax Fire said on Twitter.
"Our crews are going to continue working hard this afternoon with DNR to extinguish that fire and get it fully contained," Meldrum said.
Fire services are using a drone to get a better sense of the location and extent of the fire.
Halifax Fire said it doesn't expect to issue an evacuation order for homes in the area.
DNR is also helping fight wildfires burning in northern Ontario. This week, it sent a crew of more than 20 people, 15 kilometres of fire hose and other equipment to Sudbury, Ont.