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Springdale resident concerned about camp and fires in Springdale

Tana Adams of Springdale is concerned about this camp and the evidence of open fires happening in the middle of the town.
Tana Adams of Springdale is concerned about this camp and the evidence of open fires happening in the middle of the town.

SPRINGDALE, NL — Tana Adams remembers the fear that swept through Springdale in 2013 when a forest fire broke out near the middle of town.  

When she spotted a makeshift camp and burned wood around the same area last week, those feelings returned.

A closer look at the structure and the burned wood.

“With the fire bans that have been on, and with it being so close to the town, a fire hazard is something I feel needs to be brought to the attention of local enforcement,” she said.

She reached out to members of the Springdale Volunteer Fire Department and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to alert them of the existence of the structure and the evidence of already burned wood.

Adams said she owns property in the same area near places such as the Springdale Heritage Centre, the Springdale Hospital, and the residential neighbourhood on Main Street. She is raising awareness of its existence of the structure and the piles of wood in hopes of preventing the devastation that could occur if a fire got out of control.

On an afternoon in July 2013, a forest fire broke out in the middle of town near homes on Main Street. Police and firefighters responded to the area known locally as “The Bog” in Springdale’s east end. The blaze spread quickly, with smoke and fire bellowing from the treetops. Some residents of the area evacuated their homes.

After firefighters fought the fire for a period of time, assistance came from a Department of Natural Resources water bomber. It made a number of passes to drop water on the area. The fire was eventually contained over several hours. Nobody was injured and no homes were damaged.

She believes the structure, and the other materials in the area, should be removed.

“Maybe some of the parents down in that area might know the kids up there playing on that hill, so they can let them know of the dangers,” she said.

Although, she hopes authorities will recognize those dangers and get rid of it themselves.

Fire chief Rennie Normore was alarmed to find out about the situation. Especially because of the situation in 2013. He said knowing there is, could have been, or might be open fires in the forested part of town is disturbing.

“It was suspected that is what happened in 2013, but it was never proven,” he said.

The chief said he would notify the Town, and he would suspect staff would have the structure removed. From an awareness and safety perspective, he said he would like to speak with the people involved — suspected to be youth — to educate them on the dangers of such behavior.

Normore said open fires have been prohibited quite frequently in the area throughout the summer. The department monitors the fire index and has been warning against open fires when the index is too high.

When open fires are permitted, he said it is important to have water on hand to extinguish the flame or in case it gets out of control.

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