Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fire at Point Pelee Marsh

Last night I almost went to bed early, and then Jeremy Hatt texted me before 9pm saying that the Point Pelee Marsh was on fire, and shared a stunning photo.  I called my Mom right away, and before I knew it she was at my house and we were on our way to concession E. 

Driving down side road 12, Mom and I were both surprised that we could actually see the glow in the sky from the 5th concession.  By the time we got to the church at Hillman and turned south, we could clearly see the warm glow and some smoke.  We parked at Road 19 and Concession E, hung out with Jeremy and the locals taking photos while everyone was wondering whether the fire was in fact a product of natural causes (police state that fowl play is not suspected), or if some sh*t disturber started it.

The next morning I went to check it out again before work.  By now we had strong East winds and the fire had spread.  It was actually really beautiful to see the dancing flames over the marsh in the predawn hours.  I quickly grabbed a few photos on my cellphone.

A section of the fire at Point Pelee Marsh from Concession E looking southwest.  The fire started last evening, March 29th, and was out by this morning.  Over 125 ha was burned. Photo by Marianne Balkwill.
It will be interesting to see what new growth will now grow in these open pockets amongst the remaining thick stands of cattails. Hopefully not Phragmites, but only time will tell.
The last time the marsh went up in flames like this was back in 1988.  I was only 7 years old at the time and we didn't go check it out.  This was caused by a lightning strike.  I am sort of surprised it hasn't happened since that time.


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