Published July 6 2016
Two structures on the Bark Lake Leadership Centre property burned on Wednesday June 29.
Twenty-five Highlands East firefighters worked to contain the flames which had spread to some trees that surround the centre fire chief Bill Wingrove said.
The recreation hall was razed and a museum structure was also burned Wingrove said. The rec centre is about 4000 square feet and was used as a kids’ space. The dormitory sustained water and heavy smoke damage. The main dining hall and other large buildings were not affected.
“The rec centre was fully engulfed … when we got there” Wingrove said.
“The camp was quite full and they did an amazing job of getting everybody out and accounting for them” he said of the centre’s staff.
His biggest fear was that the flames would ignite the surrounding forest. While a few trees were charred firefighters’ efforts kept the blaze contained.
The fire started Wednesday morning Wingrove said with smoke so thick it could be seen in Tory Hill and from Camp Wanakita near Donald.
The cause of the fire is not known and investigators have assessed the site. Replacement cost of the buildings has not yet been determined.