By Gail Paquette
Rainfall in the Quinte area on Thursday did nothing to lift fire bans or rescue farmers crops.
Up until yesterday an accumulated 2.5 mm of rain fell in July according to Environment Canada. The 50 mm of rain that fell was too little too late.
”We usually get four cuttings of hay a season,” said Thurlow farmer Peter Tummon. “We have cut twice and I doubt we will get a third. Some farmers are already bringing their cows inside to eat as there is nothing left in the fields.”
“It didn’t do much good,” said Dennis Derry, acting fire chief of the Centre Hastings Fire Department, “The grass is still crunching underfoot.”
Total fire bans are in place in all municipalities through the Quinte Region meaning absolutely no open fires.
“That means no bonfires, hibachis, chimneas or otherwise,” said Derry. “We had to give a few warnings earlier this month but now that the word is out people are paying attention.”
The municipality of Centre Hastings posted a public notice on their website restricting watering lawns in the village of Madoc to certain times.
”It is to ensure the municipality maintains its reserves of potable water, pressure and sufficient water to fight fires,” said Centre Hastings Deputy Reeve Tom Simpson. The ban started July 19 and will remain in effect until September 19.
In Prince Edward County residents have been notified that brush will no longer be picked up curbside until fire bans are lifted.
“We are not the worse hit,” said Tummon. “Two thirds of the United States agriculture sector are reporting drought conditions, I guess we are pretty lucky.”