By Jenn Watt
The beach on Head Lake in Haliburton was reopened on Thursday July 18 by the Municipality of Dysart et al after staff determined debris from a boat fire had been adequately cleaned up.
On Sunday July 14 Haliburton Fire Department responded to a fire on a boat at about 5:15 p.m. The occupants had been taken to safety but it took some time for firefighters to reach the vessel and put out the blaze. The boat was towed to Rotary Beach off of Park Street.
From the shore spectators could see debris breaking off of the remains of the boat and Dysart et al recreation program co-ordinator Andrea Mueller said staff wanted to make sure any oil gas and other debris was removed before the public could use the beach again.
“We had concerns with oil/gas/debris as the boat was dragged over to Rotary Beach and although the fire department cleaned up the site as best they could Andrew Wilbee wanted to make sure that there was no oil/gas or debris in and around the water. There were spill absorption kits set up on shore to capture any oil and the parks staff double checked the water and beach for debris” Mueller said in an email to the Echo .
Immediately following the fire fire chief Mike Iles contacted the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks.
“The ministry takes all threats to the natural environment very seriously” a statement from the ministry reads.
“Ministry staff were in contact with the local fire chief who advised that the boat was pulled ashore after it had burnt. The beach area was closed while officials cleaned up debris in the water. We are satisfied with the clean-up and there are no ongoing environmental impacts resulting from the boat fire.”
The beach was reopened on the morning of Thursday July 18.
Although it is open to the public signage at the beach indicates the water quality is not tested by the health unit. Mueller confirmed that the water is not tested by any official entity.