Salem lake conditions pose challenge for fighting fires - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Salem lake conditions pose challenge for fighting fires

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Gardner Lake (WFSB) Gardner Lake (WFSB)

While the state of Connecticut is facing serious drought conditions, the town of Salem could be facing serious challenges when it comes to fighting fires.

Gardner Lake is used to fill up tanker trucks for fighting fires in the area.

“It's our primary resource for water,” said firefighter Jim Savalle.

But the lake is being drained because of mil-foil, an invasive freshwater plant. Savalle said the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection gave the town permission to lower the water 3 feet to kill off the plant.

“We had encouraged the lake authority, selectman and the mayor to not lower the lake this year because of the drought,” Savalle said.

The whole state is dealing with drought conditions, and depending on what the winter does, if the lake freezes over, crews won’t be able to get water.

This means they’ll have to find another way, taking time out of fighting a fire.

For the lake, the water is being rerouted to other bodies of water. Savalle hopes this doesn't have a lasting impact.

“If it freezes this year it will be tough getting water,” Savalle said. “We still have to get water from somewhere. We will find it, but the length of time to find the water will be the problem.”

Parts of New Haven, Hartford and Litchfield counties are under an extreme drought. Waterbury is finding residents who water lawns and wash cars, and New Britain will be buying water from MDC starting next month.

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