Monday, May 15, shortly after 1 p.m., Kearney Fire and Emergency Services were called out to a large brush fire in the vicinity of Cherryhill Road off of Hwy 518. Upon arrival, it was quickly assessed at approximately five acres of burning forest. Automatic aid was activated and fire departments from Perry, Sprucedale Magnetawan, and Burks Falls also responded.
After two hours the fire crews had the fire under control and managed to contain it from spreading over the road despite the high winds. While crews continued working on the initial fire, command was notified by a neighbour that there was another fire on the opposite side. Upon investigation, the fire had “jumped” 400 metres in the other direction. Another section of approximately two acres was on fire. With the quick deployment of forestry pumps and lines and redirecting crews, the fire was brought under control.
Kearney Fire Chief Paul Schaefer would like to think all personnel for their hard-fought battle. After more than four hours the fire was deemed out. Fire crews returned to their stations to begin the long process of cleaning their gear to prepare for the next event, more than eight hours were spent on this fire.
The cause according to Schaefer was a campfire not properly extinguished two days earlier. “Charges will be forthcoming. We have the ability to charge $525.00 an hour for each truck on scene. At the height of the fire, there were ten trucks on scene. An expensive error for carelessness,” said Schaefer.
Members of the public are reminded to please ensure all fires are properly extinguished and follow all safe burning protocols when having a fire.