Photo: Station Chief Arron Wight, Eastern Passage

Ten homes in Cole Harbour, NS residents were evacuated due to a forest fire in the Salt Marsh Trail on the Maritime Race Weekend marathon course over the weekend. They were allowed to return once the fire was brought under control.

Race director Michelle Kempton confirmed that both sides of the trail portion of the route (approximately eight hectares) were burned. However the fire was eventually brought under control, and Kempton is optimistic the marathon course will not be affected, come race weekend (September 14-15).

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“This fire team has gotten us out of situations a couple times,” Kempton says, referring to other incidents where the local fire station has saved the day, such as when they retrieved one of the race’s stolen porta-potties. It being a small community, she knows several of the firefighters personally, and says at least a dozen of them will be participating in race weekend in September, running in their bunker gear. “They are trained for brush fire,” says Kempton. “I had confidence they’d contain it fast.”

Kempton was attending an industry event in Seattle at the time of the blaze, and was shocked to receive a number of calls and texts reporting that the marathon route was on fire. “The fire chief assured me they wouldn’t let anything happen to our much loved trail system and race route.”

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