At least 125 hectares of marsh land burned up in a massive fire at Point Pelee National Park that raged overnight Wednesday and continued Thursday morning.
Park staff and the Leamington Fire Department became aware of the blaze around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Firefighters arrived on the park property to find an area in flames near the marsh boardwalk.
The park was closed while OPP blocked traffic.
Multiple firefighting units worked to prevent the fire from spreading to the boardwalk and damaging park infrastructure.
“It got extremely close to the boardwalk,” said Monique Oltrop, acting superintendent of Point Pelee National Park, on Thursday.
“That was the main focus of our fire teams — to protect the infrastructure. They put great effort into ensuring the fire did not breach the boardwalk.”
Oltrop said the flames appear to have started in the northwest portion of the marsh, and quickly covered an extensive area. At times, the fire line was estimated to be more than half a kilometre long.
According to the Leamington Fire Department, there was no public hazard.
The fire burned through the night and into the morning while firefighters and park officials monitored the situation.
Flames were evident for more than 12 hours. But by 10 a.m., the Leamington Fire Department said the fire was out — thanks, in part, to the rain.
At press time, the cause of the incident remained undetermined.
The park remained closed throughout Thursday. Oltrop said the tentative schedule was to re-open Friday morning. “Public safety is really the most important thing to Parks Canada,” she said. “As soon as the park is safe to re-open, we will do so.”
The incident was not a…
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