Jeff Green | Apr 22, 2015
The first burn ban of 2015 was declared by South Frontenac Fire Chief, Rick Cheseborough, late last week, but was lifted after the rains on Monday. Spring burn bans come into place because as the snow recedes, the dead grasses, leaves and other vegetation from the previous year can easily catch fire and spread. Until new growth takes hold, there are considerable fire risks.
Meanwhile, concerns were already being raised about the potential for low water levels for the coming recreation season, but significant rains on Monday have made a difference. According to readings after Monday's rain, Mazinaw Lake, the headwaters of the Mississippi River system, had climbed to within 14 centimetres of normal levels, from 34 centimetres (13 inches) under normal a day earlier. Other lakes further down the watershed are at lower levels relative to normal. Big Gull is 27 centimetres below average. Crotch Lake, which is used as a reservoir lake for the lower lakes in the system, remained 57 centimetres below average levels for this time of year even after the rain.
Meanwhile within the Rideau system, Bobs Lake, which is used as a water source for the Rideau Canal, is 25 centimetres below normal, although it is only 15 centimetres below the target level set by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.