Quick Action prevents forest fire

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Fire-Catherine
photo courtesy of Catherine Andrews.
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The MNR helicopter is just leaving after dropping off the fire crew.

Late this afternoon the Wawa Volunteer Fire Department was called to a fire at the old Agawa Bay Gas Station. When MyWawa arrived at the scene, the MNR helicopter was just unloading a fire attack crew, and the Batchawana Fire Department drove in only minutes later.

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The first Batchawana Fire truck to arrive. The Wawa Volunteer Fire Department truck can be seen in the parking lot. A SE OPP Officer is giving information to a firefighter.

 

Several Wawaites stopped and called 911 for assistance. The first photograph was taken at 5:20 just after calling the fire in. The former gas station is 50 kilometres south of Wawa, and 170 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie. A small white building had caught fire and the flames were a good 30+ feet high, and spreading to the bush and hill behind.

 

Fortunately a bridge maintenance crew stopped when they saw the blaze and began to help keep the blaze from spreading. They had been washing the bridges, and were using the water that they had left in their truck began to fight the fire. In yet another stroke of luck, the wind was blowing inland and not towards the highway and the Agawa Bay Campground.

 

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MNR Firefighters laying a hose line to get water.

 

Once the firefighters appeared, most of the blaze was out, and most of the work concentrated on putting out the hot spots. The construction crew disappeared, and no one seems to know who they were. Staff for Lake Superior Provincial Park (summer residents at the Agawa Bay staff house) helped as well.

 

Water was sourced from the two pumper trucks, and a hose line which had been laid by the MNR and was taking water in from Speckled Trout Creek, just east of the building.

 

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There is nothing left of the little white shed, and firefighters are soaking the hill behind to ensure that nothing is still burning.

 

Traffic control was conducted by Superior East OPP. During this time, the officer did ask for a vehicle to pull over, and was observed arresting a man and then placing him in the back of the cruiser. During a short search of the vehicle, a small bottle of alcohol was removed and emptied. The officer then left for Wawa with the man in custody. The vehicle was later towed by Mission Motors.

 

The firefighters took several hours to thoroughly soak and ensure that there were no hot spots to flare up.

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