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Wind turbine catches fire in West Pubnico, N.S.

Monday, March 18th 2019, 10:49 am - Huge turbine threw burning hunks of material 100 metres to the ground.

A wind turbine caught fire in West Pubnico, N.S., late Friday afternoon, throwing huge, burning pieces of material to the ground.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 5 p.m., but West Pubnico fire department Chief Gordon Amiro said there was little firefighters could do to douse the flames.

"We couldn't get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades," he said. "So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn't safe to go nowhere near the tower at all."

No one was injured.

Amiro said when the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres up in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground.

CBC burning turbine 19-03-16 Firefighters kept people away from the area during the fire due to falling pieces of burning material. (Frankie Crowell)

"There was nothing we could do more than watch what was falling down and if the ground was to catch fire, just to put it out on the ground."

Amiro said two of the blades were completely burned and the nacelle, the gearbox at the centre of the blades that's "almost as big as a school bus" was also seriously damaged.

windmill 1

(Photo courtesy: Lise Stoddard, Pubnico Point, Nova Scotia)

Firefighters stayed at the scene for about an hour to ensure no one got too close.

Amiro said it's a good thing it was raining and the ground was covered with snow.

"If that would have been August, we'd still be there trying to put wood fire out," he said Saturday morning.

windmill 2

(Photo courtesy: Lise Stoddard, Pubnico Point, Nova Scotia)

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