2020-11-11

Halloween nuisance fires keep Hubbards first responders busy

by KEITH CORCORAN

None of the incidents put lives or homes at risk, but volunteer fire crews in Hubbards were kept busy on Halloween extinguishing a series of nuisance fires in Mill Cove.

The first two fires took place on Highway 329 less than a kilometre apart.

Emergency crews were summoned at 8:45 p.m., October 31, to an address where a couple of tires were burning in the road, but flames had spread to the ditch. A three-by-three-metre section of terrain burned, said Clary Coolen, chief of the Hubbards volunteer fire department.

"All the surface fuels are dry because of the fallen leaves," he told LighthouseNOW.

A couple of hours later, "tree debris" and some waste wood put in the road was ignited. There were no tires in the pile, Coolen said.

In the early morning hours of November 1, responders were again dispatched; this time to Mill Cove Shore Road for an unattended fire involving "three or four tires," Coolen explained.

All the small fires took minutes to extinguish.

Any hazards on the road were removed, and RCMP were notified of the incidents.

"We always clear the debris," Coolen noted.

No one was hurt.

"Nothing serious this year," he said.

It was a different story in the district on Halloween three years ago. It was then that four Hubbards area men met up to light tires on fire as part of a "prank" in The Lodge, and ended up destroying a cabin in the process. The offenders, originally charged with arson, were each sentenced to a year of supervised release after admitting to property mischief over $5,000.

Back in 2011, Hubbards volunteer firefighters dealt with six separate incidents involving objects on fire in roadways on Halloween night. There were no injuries as a result of those alarms.

Law enforcement continually warn about Halloween shenanigans, noting the setting fires of and blocking roads with debris puts people at risk.

If an emergency occurs - and a road is blocked - help may not be able to get to someone in a timely matter, police warn.

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