Madawaska Valley firefighters were kept busy over the weekend, responding to 11 calls in three days.

Fire Chief Corwin Quade says three of the calls came on Friday night within 11 minutes of one another. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry assisted by sending a helicopter from Haliburton to help fight a forest fire just north of Carson Lake. Quade says all three fires were caused by lightning strikes and will be monitored for the next four days to insure all hot spots were put out.

Quade says firefighters were also called to two backyard fires on Friday night as well. On Saturday morning, two forest fire calls on Old Barry’s Bay Road were responded to, while another blaze started by a camp fire was extinguished that evening.

Come Sunday, a fire on Tamarack Road was started after someone dumped charcoal into pine needles. While the fire was originally headed towards homes, Quade says it was stopped before it could get there.

Quade is reminding residents that there is a total fire ban in effect in the township, which means no open fires of any kind and no fireworks. Renfrew County is currently rated as an extreme risk for forest fires by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.