‘Lots to do’: Kejimkujik campers forge on despite ban and restrictions

The recent wildfire burning near Seven Mile Lake hasn’t slowed the steady flow of campers into Kejimkujik National Park.

“We’ve been here a week and a half now and the weather’s been fantastic, there’s lots to do,” Richard Urquhart said.

The sunshine has made camping pleasurable for many, despite the province-wide camp fire ban.

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READ MORE: Seven Mile Lake wildfire still growing despite ‘significant progress’

Some campers didn’t know the ban was in place when they first arrived right around the same time the Seven Mile Lake fire began.

“We actually didn’t hear about it until we got here because I brought a quart of wood that’s still sitting on the ground there, not being burnt,” Darren Twedie said, who’s wrapping up a week long trip in the park with his family.

Park staff say they’ve been working closely with the Department of Natural Resources to keep their visitors informed and safe.

The only areas of the popular park that are closed due to the fires are Kejimkujik Seaside and all of the back country.

“As the province pointed out, many fires began when people are in the woods and while all of our visitors respect the woods and do their utmost, it’s really that extra measure of security,” said Theresa Bunbury, the acting superintendent of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site.

Although campers can’t wrap up their days sitting around the fire, they’re not holding back from getting outside and enjoying their adventure in nature.

“It’s been really fun, we did a couple kayak rides and a couple bike rides and hikes,” said Logan Twedie, a camper from Bridgewater.

READ MORE: What Halifax-area trails have been closed due to provincial travel restrictions?

The Seven Mile Lake fire is burning nearby but hasn’t entered the park. Bunbury says there was only one day when you could notice the effects of the blaze.

“A few days into it as the fire grew, when the wind shifted slightly there was more smoke and eventually Environment Canada put out their air quality [warning] so that’s obviously of concern for some people and caused some people to cancel their reservations.”

Besides that, it’s business as usual at Keji and the frontcountry remains open to anyone hoping to book a site.

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