By Jill Bellefontaine
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Porters Lake/Lake Echo forest fire that broke out on June 13th, 2008. The fire burned for approximately three days while over 50 agencies including HRFES, RCMP, and DNR engaged in response in one way or another. High winds and lack of humidity made the jobs of 158 firefighters, helicopters, and water bombers extremely difficult.
More than 5000 people were evacuated from their homes, more than 20 homes were damaged and unfortunately two homes were completely consumed by the flames. Luckily no people were harmed throughout the 3-day ordeal. Evacuees were welcomed at both Cole Harbour Place and Seaforth Community Hall where they waited for updates from fire officials.
The fire burned 4,757 acres of land covering an area approximately 21km in length and 2km in width, and resulted in the closure of the #7, 107, and 207 roadways.
Ten years later, the forest that once stood tall and flourished continues to repair itself little by little.