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Owen Barr was a rookie tower observer in Nova Scotia during the 1938-1939 season. He tells this story about one of the first fires he spotted.

There was the occasional ranger who did not take his job too seriously.

Barr Settlement Tower, Nova ScotiaI will quote one incident when I was tower operator. I think it was one of the first fires I reported. It was in the Walton area so I called the Chief Ranger in that District and was told that he was out in the hayfield working. I replied, “Tell him to come to the telephone.” After a while he came. When I told him there was a fire and where it was, his reply was, “I am busy in the hayfield.” My answer was, “You have to go now, this is a fire.” He went.

Some time later he was in the Halifax office and told Mr. Creighton that, “That Barr fellow who operates the fire tower in Barr Settlement had some gall. He called me in from the hayfield and told me I had to go to a fire.” When Mr. Creighton told me about it some time later, we both had a good laugh.

Through the years 1938 and 1939 while I was tower watchman, I was able to gain some knowledge of how important it was to get to a fire as quickly as possible.

Barr, Owen. Forest Fire Fighting in Nova Scotia. 1996.
Photo Credit:
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resoures [Barr Settlement Tower, Nova Scotia]
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