Fires concern Irena residents


 Irena residents were on edge last week when a neighbouring farmer chose breezy days to burn brush piles left over from a recent land-clearing project.

Smoke and ashes from the piles located directly on the north side of the Irena Road were falling onto the homes located on the south side of Irena Road.

The land was cleared by Dentz, who did obtain a burn permit to dispose of the left over brush. 

However, according Chris McDonough, fire chief South Dundas Fire and Emergency Service, although Calvin Dentz did obtain a permit from the municipality, he failed to comply with the rules laid out in the bylaw governing this type of burning.

“The brush was piled in wind rows, rather than piles, and was too close to the road and too close to property lines,” said McDonough, who warned the landowner to stop burning on August 27.

“We gave him a warning and then we had to come back (August 28) for six hours to put out the fires,” said McDonough. 

The firefighters from the Iroquois Fire Station attended the scene.

Area homeowners couldn’t believe the landowner didn’t heed the initial warning, as it was obvious to them watching from their front yards and front windows, that the situation could have easily gotten out of control.

“We had to close up all our windows in this heat,” said one of the area residents. “Our houses were filling up with smoke so bad it was hurting our eyes and it was hard to breathe.” 

All were worried for their safety and the safety of their homes. “They’re showing no regard for us or our homes,” said another resident.

Because the South Dundas firefighters had to attend the scene after the warning, McDonough says that the landowner will be invoiced for the cost, which McDonough estimates at about $5,000.

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