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Cape Breton tops in grass fires

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is leading the province in intentionally set grass fires, statistics show.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is leading the province in intentionally set grass fires, statistics show.


“It is a serious problem here,” Paul MacCormick, deputy fire marshal for Nova Scotia, said. “Our office has teamed up with the Department of Natural Resources and Cape Breton Regional Police Service to bring a pilot project into the schools on the consequences of grass fires.”


The program will be in place in schools in Glace Bay and the Northside.


“We will then be looking for feedback and from there might take the program across the province,” MacCormick said.


Students at Morrison and St. Michael’s junior high schools in Glace Bay were addressed Monday.


Jim Driscoll, a fire training manager with the Cape Breton Regional Fire Service, said there were 1,500 grass and bush fires in the CBRM within a three-month period last year, taking 20,000 man hours, mainly volunteers.


“They (the grass fires) took three or four buildings, houses, (and) a garage.”


He said while firefighters are chasing nuisance grass fires, houses aren’t protected like they should be.


“Our crews get spread so thin, there is not the response time we like to have.”
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