Fire Fighting in Canada

Small world, small talk, big fire


It's a small world
Musings from the Maritime chiefs conference and more.

July 21, 2008 
By Carey Fredericks

It’s a small world. I
know this, because over the weekend I was standing in our neighbourhood
butcher shop when the woman next to me asked the butcher for the best
and easiest-to-cook cut of beef. He recommended New York strip loins,
and she ordered 12. I ordered two of the same from the other gentleman
behind the counter, at which point the woman asked me if the steaks
would be good done on the barbeque.

At this
point, I noticed her X ring. Anyone from Nova Scotia (which I am) or who
attended St. Frances Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., is familiar with
the gold signet ring with the X in the centre, and knows that wearing one is an
invitation to talk about St. F.X., Nova Scotia, lobster, the Cabot Trail and
all things we Bluenosers have in common.

I mentioned that I had just returned from Nova Scotia and was looking forward to my
barbecued steak after having eaten seafood for the last couple of weeks, and I
noted her X ring.


Now, here’s
the small world part. She said she, too, had just returned from N.S., after visiting
her family in
Lake Echo, on the Eastern Shore. Her parents had been evacuated
from their home during the forest fire at Porters Lake/Lake Echo in mid-June and
were still reeling from the experience. Remarkably, she said, the fire came
within metres of her parents’ place but the home was not damaged.


she noted that area residents were talking about the destruction caused by
hurricane Juan in 2003 and all the fallen trees and debris that was still on
the ground, and which may have contributed to the spread of the
Porters Lake fire. I heard this from some
firefighters at the Maritime Fire Chiefs Association conference this month too.
And I heard more about a massive brush fire in
Tantallon, N.S., that burned at the same time as
Porters Lake fire. We’ll report on both blazes
in one of our fall issues.

Canadian Press says the Porters Lake/Lake Echo fire, which forced the
evacuation of 5,000 people, was the largest in an urban area in more than 30
years. Both the Porters Lake/Lake Echo fire and the Tantallon fire were
believed to have been man made. 



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