Chief says thanks - Good job Petawawa 0
Petawawa Fire Chief Steve Knott
PETAWAWA - The town's fire chief is thanking residents for observing this summer's fire ban implemented during the drought which struck Renfrew County.
"We thank the town very much for their cooperation and understanding," Steve Knott told the protective services committee this week.
The ban on recreational open air burning had been imposed from July 12 to Aug. 15 due to the extreme heat and lack of precipitation which is fostered tinder dry conditions. At the same time, the CFB Petawawa Fire Department imposed a ban for Black Bear campground because it was situated in a heavily populated site that was surrounded by thick forests.
Similar bans had been issued in the city of Pembroke, Laurentian Valley, Bonnechere Valley and the townships of Head, Clara and Maria.
Lacking a concerted county-wide ban, Chief Knott acknowledged some confusion among residents when other municipalities lifted or imposed bans
"There was a lot of confusion in terms of various municipalities within the county deploying their fire bans and then taking them off," he said. "We understand what they went through and thank them for their cooperation."
The fire department did lay numerous charges during the ban period, however, Chief Knott added most concerned users who did not have burn permits to begin with.
The Ministry of Natural Resources issued a Level 2 drought warning for Renfrew County on July 19. The declaration was issued based on data showing significantly lower than historical average rainfall amounts and surface water levels on lakes, rivers and streams.
The MNR Water Response Team, a group made up of representatives from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the county, continue to meet on a regular basis. Mayor Bob Sweet said the drought declaration remains in effect.
"I don't think we are out of the water yet," he said.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist