Another large brush fire in the city’s west end Sunday Ñ this time in Carp Ñ is exhausting fire crews.
Fire broke out just after 12:30 p.m. in the forest at the end of Holland Hill Rd. off Carp Rd.
“We’re not going to say it’s contained yet but we’re holding the front, so it’s not progressing any more,” said fire spokesman Marc Messier at the scene.
Homes in the area weren’t evacuated, although flames were heading in the direction of residents in the nearby Hidden Lake subdivision, located about a half-kilometre from the fire.
“At one point, I was pacing my house, just because you don’t really know what to do,” said resident Sarah Robinson.
“I put a few things together in a pile, in case the wind shifted or the situation grew larger than it was.”
She got the disc with her wedding photos and “made sure that I had the few pieces of jewelry from my husband with me,” she said.
But firefighters attacked in full force, “so it’s no longer getting anywhere near homes,” Messier said.
A helicopter was dispatched to help dump water.
At least 51/2 acres of deciduous trees were consumed by the blaze as of 6 p.m.
Two hours later, 1,800 residents were instructed not to drink the water, even if it’s boiled, from the communal well system.
City staff were handing out bottled water at the Carp Fairgrounds.
The mercury reached about 36C with the humidex.
“There’s just no moisture out there, so it just means more work. It’s hard on the crews,” said Messier.
About 95 firefighters were being rotated and paramedics set up a rehabilitation unit onsite.
“We will be treating firefighters if there’s injuries, and we’ll be monitoring vital signs to see if they’re fit to return to duties,” said Supt. Keith Buchanan.
Spotting more than a dozen fire trucks, residents lined Carp Rd. watching the stream of emergency vehicles from their driveways.
With no visible flames or smoke, many hadn’t realized there was a fire.
“The water pressure has dropped in everybody’s houses, which was the first clue, and then I heard a noise that there was a fire just off of Carp Rd.,” said Gareth Spanglett, one of several homeowners who tried getting closer to the scene on bicycle.
They were stopped by police.
Firefighters are continuing to battle hot spots and will monitor the blaze overnight and for the next few days.