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Burn ban back


South Dundas has re-instated the burn ban.

“It’s just not safe to burn,” said Chris McDonough, fire chief with South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services. “It’s still very dry.”

This ban comes on the heels of recent burning activities that have called on South Dundas’ fire services to extinguish fires lit by area farmers.

The burn ban means that no open air burning is permitted in the municipality and that no more burning permits will be issued until the ban is once again lifted.


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Ground and air forces fight Dundela brush fire


A farmer’s brush fire set Saturday, along Ridge Road at Dundela, got so out of control South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services had to call in help from above to extinguish the blaze.

The fire to dispose of brush left over from land clearing lit Monday morning was out of control by 1-2 p.m. Monday, when firefighters were called in to try and extinguish the blaze which was starting to spread.

Iroquois, Williamsburg and Morrisburg firefighters were all on scene fighting the blaze from the ground.

“We had 1,600 feet of hose on the ground and we couldn’t get it under control said Chris McDonough, fire chief of South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services, who also reported that it was difficult to access the fire.

“The situation got really dangerous,” said McDonough. “Four guys were caught in a vortex, where there was fire all around them,” he said, of the very dangerous situation, that they managed to escape. 

However at that point, McDonough knew that drastic measures were needed to avoid injuries to the firefighters and to keep the fire from spreading.

“We had depleted all our resources,” he said, “We only had one truck left in Morrisburg, in case of some other emergency.”

So, about three to four hours after they were called to the scene, McDonough called in the Ministry of Natural Resources with their water tanker and spotter airplanes to extinguish the blaze that was starting to spread into an adjacent tree line towards the east.

The water tanker from North Bay was able to extinguish the fire in about four passes dropping a fire suppressant foam. 

“We were really fortunate to get the tanker,” he said. “Their turn around time between loads was 7-8 minutes. They did a really good job.”

One firefighter was treated by EMS for heat exhaustion and breathing issues.

The landowner, Alfred Ettlin, did have a burn permit, however the brush was piled in very large wind rows rather than piles. McDonough says these huge wind rows are the main source of the problem. 

“He had six rows (of brush) about 15 feet high and 500 feet long, spaced about 50-75 feet apart, so what was happening was the first wind row would start the next one, making it a very intense fire,” explained McDonough.

According to McDonough the farmer who owns the property will be responsible for paying for the cost of fighting the fire including the services of the fire bomber. 

The MNR rate for the services of the water tanker is $3,657.49 per hour. The required spotter plane costs $1,244.77 per hour and each load of foam dropped by the plane is $135.


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Morrisburg waterfront scene of dog attack


A dog attack Tuesday, August 28, around 11 a.m. in the Morrisburg waterfront park left a four-year-old Yorkshire Terrier dead, and his owner injured.

Shirley Gillmor, of Morrisburg, was walking her nine pound dog Bruiser along the walking path just past the Docksyde restaurant, when the attack occurred.

Her dog was leashed, the German Shepherd that attacked them was not.

Gillmor. whose hand was bitten during the attack, says, “The marks this has left on the inside, are much worse than the marks on my hands.”

Though grieving the loss of her canine companion, she was compelled to share her story with The Leader and the community to make people aware of what happened, in hopes that such a tragedy will never happen again. 

She is especially worried because this attack happened in such a busy place, where people often walk their dogs and where families regularly spend time with their children.

Last Tuesday morning, at about 11 a.m., Gillmor took Bruiser for a walk, as usual. As they walked past the Docksyde, Gillmor notice a dark blue van parked. An unleashed dog was outside the van. She describes that dog as a 20-30 pound poodle type dog, that did not appear to be any threat to her or her dog, although it was unleashed.

She was correct in her assumption, that dog posed no threat. But, what she couldn’t see was a large German Shepherd inside the van, parked with its sliding door wide open. The dog owner was sitting in the van.

When Gillmor and Bruiser got within about 20 feet of the van the Shepherd leapt out of the van growling. 

“He headed directly for my dog,” said Gillmor. “It all happened so fast, I had no time to pick my dog up.”

“My dog is leashed all the time. I was trying to hold my dog in my right hand while I put my left hand out to try and stop the dog, but in one or two seconds the Shepherd was there.”

“I was screaming at the (dog’s) owner to get his dog,” said Gillmor. “He yelled, but he didn’t make any move as I was struggling.”

In all the commotion Gillmor’s dog slipped out of his collar. That’s when the attacking Shepherd sank his teeth into the small dog and shook him. “My dog is screeching in pain and I get bit, that’s when the owner finally gets his dog,” she recounts.

“My dog is screaming in pain, my hands are dripping with blood and the dog owner gets his two dogs back in the van and starts driving away,” says Gillmor. “I yelled at him to help me and he cursed at me.”

Luckily, a quick-thinking eye-witness got the van’s plate number and another helped Gillmor by taking her and her badly injured dog to the Morrisburg Animal Hospital.

“They were wonderful at the vet’s,” said Gillmor. “They dropped everything to work on my Yorkie.”

However, though the dog was still alive, the dog’s internal injuries were so severe that Gillmor says, “I had to make the terrible decision to have him put down.”

Gillmor reported the attack to police, and following their investigation, the owner of the Shepherd, 57-year-old George Parent of Ottawa has been charged with dog owner failing to prevent it from biting or attacking a person or domestic animal. OPP media relations officer Pete Robertson reported Tuesday that the charge has been laid and that a court date has been set.