community celebrity burger-eating contest (FIRE!)

Everyone welcome! Monday, July 16, 8 p.m. at Miki’s pizzeria on Northside Road (formerly Bells Corners’ main street).

It’s near the spectacular new Bells Corners gateway mural.

Celebrity contestants and ordinary Bells Corners residents will compete for a cash prize by tasting different burgers and guessing which Bells Corners establishment prepared them.

Max Keeping hasn’t confirmed yet, and apparently Alex is off quaffing $16-a-glass orange juice while riding a boris bike, but other local celebrities will step up to the plates. The Bell Corners FREE Bike-taxi and the Hamburglarcycle will be offering free rides to all.

The contest will be cancelled if the second Bells Corners Great Fire gets out of control and wipes out the community.

The command post has been set up here and there’s a rumour that they may cut the power lines, which might mean no electricity for a lot of people.

Firemen won’t be getting much sleep this weekend – it could take many days to put it out. Nine homes have been evacuated so far and a person may be trapped. Water is being dropped from the sky. No surprise, since some smoke-eaters on the ground are hauling in water on their backs, a tough way to put out a raging fire.

The Salvation Army truck and the bike-taxi are on the scene providing succor to the brave firefighters. No word yet on what sparked the blaze.

The Urban Terrace is alive and kicking! It has moved to the next level via a more flexible business model – various pop-up locations around the city and other strategies.

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5 Responses to community celebrity burger-eating contest (FIRE!)

  1. Gravy says:

    Awesome idea; we’ll be there.

  2. ottawaowl says:

    The Great Fire of 2012 – we’re not out of the woods yet.

  3. peveeded! says:

    Just as I suspected – some squid-brained jerk dropped a lighted ciggy and started the Great Fire of 2012. He/she should be sent in with a broom to clean up the mess!

    – It’s just media speculation that a cigarette sparked the blaze. How could you ever prove it?

  4. ottawaowl says:

    The Sun reports: “After the flames were extinguished the city had spent $21,000 in overtime pay to fight the sprawling Moodie Drive brush fire.

    Most of the overtime was paid to Ottawa firefighters with forest fire experience who worked long hours to lend their expertise.

    These firefighters worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources before joining the fire department and were crucial in getting the fire under control.

    Fire chief John DeHooge told the Sun the costs could have been much higher if they weren’t constantly rotating firefighters in and out to give them a reprieve.

    “The number of firefighters on the scene far exceeds the overtime we had,” he said.

    “We rotated crews through quite regularly partly because they couldn’t work for long periods of time, so we were able to manage overtime costs.”

    The rest of the costs can be broken down into maintenance staff who used heavy equipment to clear trees, communications staff who dealt with the media and the public and safety officers patrolling the scene.

    And with firefighter’s gear being pushed to the limit, fire officials had to make sure all equipment stayed in tip-top shape.

    “When (equipment) needed servicing, whether it’s chains sharpened or something breaks, they were working full-bore to try and maintain all of that equipment,” said deHooge.

    While Ottawa firefighters are still reviewing how they reacted to the massive brush fire, deHooge said they’ve already learned some valuable lessons.

    Improving communications, cycling firefighters through the rehabilitation centre, and — most importantly — getting portable washrooms on-scene faster will be top priorities.

    He added they’ll hone in on more specific techniques they can improve once they’ve analysed the full scope of the fire.

    The brush fire flared up on July 12 and led to the evacuations of nearby homes.

    Firefighters battled the blaze for nearly a week before it was ruled under control.

    At the height of the blaze, dozens of fire crews sweated it out in a gruelling test of endurance. Not only were crews battling the blaze but intense humid weather too.

    Helicopters were called into and poured water on the blaze.

    In the aftermath, flames had devoured more than 100 acres of forest and crews still worked to put out hot spots and flare-ups for another week.

    Firefighters suspect a poorly discarded cigarette and dry, humid conditions may have started the fire, although it’s nearly impossible to prove what exactly happened.

    Lessons learned from the stubborn Moodie Drive brush fire will likely help revamp an operational manual made for Ottawa firefighters.

    A committee to help rework a strategies and tactics guide is expected to be up and running within the next month.

    The fire service is looking to update its handbook, where input will be derived from experts as well as firefighters themselves.

    Major focuses will look at developing tactics and understanding fire dynamics, according to officials.

    “There’s a definite feeling we don’t really understand some of the (wildland fire) dynamics here,” said union president Peter Kennedy.

    “We’re definitely going to push the issue for both training and education.”

    Fire crews spent nearly two weeks fighting the massive July blaze, which led to evacuations and ate through more than 100 acres.

    The handling of the Moodie Drive fire led to several firefighters speaking out about tactics and a lack of training when it comes to fighting such fires, which are uncommon in urban areas and pose additional challenges.

    Firefighters were also not using ideal equipment to fight the flames, which contributed to 10 firefighters suffering heat-related injuries, including four who were taken to hospital.

    Fire crews were also being guided by colleagues who had received wildland fire training elsewhere, such as at the Ministry of Natural Resources.

    The Moodie fire may “jumpstart” a need to look at more wildland firefighting issues, said Kennedy, who believes a more comprehensive look is needed.

    As building codes, equipment, technology and other issues evolve, so do ways to prevent and tackle blazes.

    Another issue expected to be explored comes under the building code, as firefighters expect to see more primarily wooden structures as opposed to concrete, but Kennedy said there are other areas aimed at improvement.

    Ottawa Fire Services use a “working template” but want to have its own “official” manual, said Kennedy.

    There have already been several meetings in recent months on redeveloping the manual, a joint initiative within the department that includes the fire services association but was primarily pushed by the health and safety committee.

    It is “a huge undertaking” to rework the manual, said Kennedy, and could take up to a year to complete.

    Establishing a comprehensive manual was a recommendation in the Forward Avenue report, which reviewed the handling of a 2007 blaze where five firefighters were critically injured.

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