FIRES in a south end urban forest proved problematic for firefighters.
Not because of the intensity of the sporadic flames -- they were no more than a couple of feet high -- but their location south and west of Grant Avenue and Shaftesbury Boulevard wasn't flush with water sources.
"There aren't any fire hydrants in the forest," said one firefighter. "We have to drag hoses a long way."
Thursday's fires started around noon. Eight to 10 fire crews were at the scene by mid-afternoon. One firefighter carried brooms into the forest, presumably to beat down the flames in the brush.
"It's fairly extensive. (The fires) run to the walking path (behind Canadian Mennonite University) and the pathway south," said the firefighter, as he soaked his forearms in cold water to cool down.
Traffic on Shaftesbury south of Grant was closed to traffic because firehoses were placed across the road.
Candice Braun and Emily Mogourian, both 17 and in Grade 11 at Shaftesbury High School, sat on the curb and watched the firefighters work.
"It's like watching the fire log on TV at Christmastime," Braun said. "I could watch that for hours."
Mogourian said they had planned to go home after their last class.
"But then we saw the fire and we wanted to see what was happening," she said.
Shelley Lindquist, who was out walking her dog, Abby, said she hoped the fire could be put out quickly to minimize the damage.
"I hate to see this because a lot of people use this forest for walking their dogs or jogging and there are tons of cyclists," she said.