Friday, August 10, 2007

Fire on the Don River

Yesterday I had an eventful trip on the Lower Don Trail. In addition to the pictures I took of the construction zone near Lakeshore Blvd. East (see previous post), I also witnessed the river on fire. Well, not quite a burning river such as the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland but a pile of woody debris piled against a CN rail bridge abutment caught fire. As I was cycling down the trail just north of Riverdale Park, I noticed a plume of smoke. I went for a closer look and took a few pictures as well as a couple of video clips.

While I was watching, two men (who were likely valley residents) came by. They said that earlier that day they saw a couple of other men who had waded out to the sand bar to drink beer all afternoon. One of them started a fire which got out of control. The resulting bonfire was too much for them so they high-tailed it out of there.

Location of fire

The resulting fire could be seen for quite some distance and the Toronto Fire department soon responded. They parked on Bayview Avenue. With the assistance of an aerial ladder which stretched over the CN rail lines, they were able to pump a stream of water that reached the fire and reduced it to a smoldering pile of wet ash. There was no real danger of it spreading since the log pile was in the middle of the river. Still it was an interesting sight and I caught it all on video.

Fireman on aerial ladder just before dousing fire

It was just over two years ago that I made my first Don Watcher post on another fire in the valley. Then it was just pictures. Now my camera does video as well.

Just before seeing the fire I also stopped beside the trail when I saw a deer just north of the viaduct. A female, it was munching on crab apples. I took a few pictures but none of them came out too well since it was moving around.

Who's that peeking out of the trees?

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