An underground swamp fire will keep Perth East fire crews and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority busy for the next several weeks.
Two farmers west of the swamp spotted smoke on Sunday afternoon and called emergency crews who were able to contain the blaze but now expect to spend another week fully extinguishing it.
Peat moss below the surface continues to burn and is presenting a challenge for fire crews.
“They’re on site again, Upper Thames staff and Perth East fire department,” Steve Sauder with the Conservation Authority told AM980 on Thursday.
“They are continuing to pump water because it’s amazing how the peat just continues to smolder and as you get wind or drier conditions it can flare up again.”
Sauder adds that this is very unusual for the region but an overall dry year is to blame.
“I have not run into this in my career and I’m over three decades with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and comparing notes with the other CAs around here, it’s not a common thing in this part of the province,” he explains.
“We’re certainly very pleased to see the weather forecast has rain and we anticipate that will help a lot and we’re hoping we get the 25mm that they’re calling for in the next couple days. To say it is fully extinguished? Hopefully next week sometime we’ll be able to say that but we’re going to have to be monitoring it for several weeks.”
With files from Natalie Lovie.