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Fire raged in marsh near Fenwood Gardens

Briar Boyce photo

Prince Edward County firefighters worked furiously to knock down a large fire in the marshy area near Fenwood Gardens Thursday night. Wind was brisk and flames were upward of 50 feet into the air at times. The concern was to knock down the blaze to keep it from reaching nearby homes. Some of the Fenwood Gardens residents were evacuated to Prince Edward Square as a precaution.

Belleville, Quinte West and Thurlow firefighters also sent in assistance. Highway 62 is now open. The fire was under control early this morning and  firefighters remained on the scene to monitor hot spots.

Fenwood resident Heather Plan was happy to see the fire under control.
“It’s mostly out now,” she told early this morning. “Thank you to the firefighters from all the communities who helped with the fire. Thank you for coming in the back yard to fight the fire. Somehow felt better with you here. Ash is still falling on the house and I suspect that it will for days. I guess that we can now say that we only have a fire here in the marsh in a blue moon!”

Prince Edward County OPP officers were are also on the scene throughout the night. Vehicles lined the highway and some people were standing on their vehicles to take photographs.

The glowing orange could be seen from the other side of the Bay Bridge, in Belleville.

“We could feel the heat from where we stood to take a picture,” says Teresa Whaley. “It appears to be getting closer to our house. Standing at the garage door we notice there is ash falling.”

Teresa Whaley photo

The following photographs were taken by Chris Tweedy, just before he and his wife Karen were evacuated.
“Most of the people that were evacuated were ones like us that the fire crews were using our properties to access the fire,” said Karen. “We were advised it was precaution and procedure as the crews were in our yard. By the time we got the OK to come home, they were gone from our property and packing things up on the causeway by Massasauga Rd (Belleville end).”
She noted that at 1:45 they was still not traffic on highway 62 and only letting limited traffic through on County Road 28.

Briar Boyce photo

Nature’s raw destructive power is spectacularly beautiful, said Cei Champagne, who took the following photographs on her way home from Belleville.

Sydnee Gael Mulridge photo

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  1. gil says:

    Great Job for U volunteer Folk.
    Plus the super retention job on the North Big Island Road Home fire . You all did a Super job containing this potential OMG!!!!! fire.
    Thank You,a
    South Big Island Road Resident.

  2. Susa says:

    My mom lives on this road, the pics are frightening. Hope they catch whomever did this.
    Thank you to all the firefighters and volunteers. Could have been much worse.

  3. AA says:

    It would not surprise me if some one from
    The Bayfiled home started it you can see it from in behind the start of there house as well

  4. Heinz Haas says:

    Thank you to all the fireman involved for saving our barn from destruction with high flames only a few feet away.
    $04 County road 28, Janey and Heinz

  5. Lena Veyatelas says:

    Thank you Terry – I guess every cloud does have a sliver lining!

  6. Wildlife loss may not be that great. The marsh there has no open water and is starting the slow process of evolving into a land mass as can be seen by the shrub willows and dogwoods growing out there. Because of the current condition of the marsh, there is not much diversity of wildlife. At this time of the year, marsh birds such as rails, marsh wrens, swamp sparrows, etc. will have fledged and be in flight. There are concerns though for slow moving turtles and frogs with nowhere to go due to low or non existent water because of the low water table. On the brighter side, that marsh hasn’t seen a fire in over 50 years,resulting in considerable dead and flamable material, so it may be a form of renewal. The cattails will return with vigour next spring, and any trees or shrubs burned will regenerate in time. That is not a healthy marsh by any stretch of the imagination, so the fire may have actually done some good, albeit an unwelcome strain on already exhausted fire departments who have had to contend with more than their fair share of fires this season.

  7. Doris Lane says:

    Sometimes people throw cigarette butts out the window of their cars as they are driving–maybe this fire did not start this way?
    This is one of the Marshes that Tery Sprague does marsh monitoring on,
    As Chris Keen said think of all the wildlife that was destroyed last night

  8. Sabrina Hudson says:

    These pictures really make you appreciate what our volunteer firefighters do to keep us all safe:) Thanks for your hard work!

  9. Chris Keen says:

    This will be an utter catastrophe for the wildlife living there.

  10. Our fire departments throughout the area have faced enormous challenges this summer between the summer drought creating tinder dry conditions and just plain carelessness. Yesterday, I came across a fellow burning brush in 30-50 km winds during an open air fire ban! And congratulations to CountyLive for reporting the fire at Fenwood Gardens as a marsh fire, and not a “swamp” fire as other media have done.

  11. brittany says:

    is it still going?

  12. Cei Champagne says:

    Let’s all keep our PEC Fire fighters, and PEC Volunteer Fire fighters in our thoughts!! Stay safe, and thank you for being our every day heroes!!

  13. DeadSnowBunnie says:

    There were running dry on drinking water …if ur passing by drop some off….

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