July 12, 2018 12:36 pm
Updated: July 12, 2018 5:13 pm

Brush fire off Kearney Lake Road under control: Halifax Fire

WATCH: Halifax Fire crews were called to a brush fire in Hemlock Ravine, about 500 feet from homes. One firefighter was sent to hospital for heat exhaustion. As Rebecca Lau reports, dry conditions and rugged terrain made the operation difficult.

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Halifax Fire says a brush fire that broke out just off Kearney Lake Road is now under control.

Crews responded to Crozier Court and Masthead Drive at around 12:30 p.m., after residents reported seeing smoke in a wooded area.

Halifax Fire says 35 to 45 firefighters responded to the fire, which was about 500 feet away from homes on Crozier Court.

“It’s very dry right now. The humidity is low, the temperature is warm. It’s a pleasant day if you’re not fighting a fire but what that also does is it dries out the fine fuels that are in the wooded areas of our city,” said Division Chief Dave Meldrum.

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“It makes fires spread very, very quickly and that’s of course aided by winds. So there’s a bit of a breeze up here today as well so fire spread is a concern.”

Two crews from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and a helicopter was brought in to drop water from a nearby pond on the fire.

Meldrum said firefighters were making “significant progress” and no evacuations were anticipated.

Many area residents were out at the command post set up in Crozier Court to watch the activity.

“It’s a bit scary because I just live a few houses down the street and it’s pretty windy today, so you can see all the smoke coming towards my house. So you kind of hope it gets under control pretty quick,” said resident Maryse Rogers.

A firefighter was taken to hospital by ambulance, suffering from heat exhaustion.

“We’ve had one firefighter injured with a heat stress injury today. Luckily it doesn’t appear to be serious,” said Meldrum.

“I spoke to that firefighter myself a short time ago. He’s on his way to the hospital just as a precaution to be examined but we have every reason to believe that he’s going to be fine.”

He adds conditions were difficult for crews battling the blaze.

“It’s quite dense. It’s pretty rugged terrain for firefighters to travel by on foot and move their hose lines and their gear and equipment through there so they’re working quite hard to get back there and get at the root of this fire,” he said.

Meldrum says crews will remain in the neighbourhood into the evening. DNR will be investigating the cause of the fire.

The dry conditions have prompted Halifax Fire to issue a open-air burning ban for the entire municipality. The ban includes the use of outdoor fireplaces and chimeneas.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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