Three grass fires prompts caution from fire chief

Flames leap along the shoreline next to the waterfront trail in Cornwall from a grass fire on April 13, 2015. It was one of three grass fires within 24 hours inside the city limits. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The city’s fire chief is cautioning people to be careful with ignition sources outdoors after three grass fires in two days.

“It’s the change of the season and with the cold air and the grass – it’s dry – with the sun and the change of the weather and, in the perfect (scenario), there’s a nice little ignition that could start (a fire),” Richard McCullough says. “People should be careful of discarding anything that would cause an ignition and not to do anything along particular areas where there is dry grass.”

The biggest grass fire happened Sunday around 5 p.m. when firefighters had to battle a four acre grass and brush fire off McConnell Avenue at Tollgate Road, behind the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop.

They contained the fire and allowed it to burn out, which took a little over an hour.

The cause of the fire is not known.

Firefighters were then called to the BASF Canada chemical plant on Wallrich Avenue on Monday for a grass fire on the property.

“They (the employees) were working on the tracks and, accidentally, there was some ignition there that ignited the grass…that’s what happened there,” McCullough says.

On Monday night, firefighters had to use water packs to put out a third grass fire on the waterfront trail below the Rotary Eco-Garden.

The cause of that fire is undetermined.

Firefighters use water packs to put out this grass fire along the waterfront trail near the Rotary Eco-Garden. It was one of three grass fires within 24 hours in the city. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Firefighters use water packs to put out this grass fire along the waterfront trail near the Rotary Eco-Garden. It was one of three grass fires within 24 hours in the city. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

Chief McCullough says there used to be a lot of grass fires about three decades ago, especially along the railway tracks, but the Canadian National Railway has been vigilant is cutting back brush from the train tracks.

“That’s why there’s hardly any fires around the tracks anymore (within the city limits),” McCullough added.

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