A helicopter and two dozen fire fighters contained a forest fire below Bloomfield on Thursday, June 21.
A smaller crew finished hunting down hot spots on Friday morning.
The fire burned about an acre of cutover between the Ridge Road and the railbed, about two kilometres north of the airport.
Rick Andrews, a forestry technician with the Department of Natural Resources, spotted the fire from his father’s doorstep in Rossway, across St. Mary’s Bay on Digby Neck.
“My father pointed and said, ‘Is that bad?’” said Andrews. “I said ‘Yeah, that’s bad.’”
Andrews gathered DNR personnel and called dispatch to get help from the Digby Fire Department.
The Digby Fire Department laid down 800’ feet of hose and pumped water up to a portable tank and a DNR pumper pumped water on to fire fighters who were another kilometre back in the woods.
The DNR helicopter, a Hughes 500, had luckily been stationed in MacGowans Lake near Keji due to the rising forest fire index in this end of the province.
Only 15 minutes away, the pilot was able to find water just a short hop from the fire and quickly knocked it down.
Fire crews from DNR and the Digby Department used high-pressure forestry nozzles to dig into the earth and soak down any hot spots.
Crews worked until dark Thursday night and returned to the fire Friday morning to cool down the last of the hot spots.
DNR officials suspected lightning from the early morning thundershowers Thursday may have started the fire.
The forest fire index for southwestern Nova Scotia was “high” when last posted today, Friday, June 22 at 1:30 p.m.
Rain was expected over night Friday and through the weekend.
NSDNR’s fire weather index map is available on line at http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/fwi/ .
This was the fourteenth forest fire for Digby County this year, which makes it an above average year. A normal season has 15 to 30 forest fires a year.
Last year, an abnormally wet year, we had only one.