NL Gazette

Bay d’Espoir Highway forest blaze doubles, as units fighting flames for 3rd day

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • The highway stayed closed, but some traffic was allowed through Monday night.
  • Mallory Slade and her family moved past flames and smoke as a forest fire burned along the Bay D’Espoir Highway Sunday night. 

The only route in and out of the Connaigre Peninsula remains shut Tuesday morning, and an out-of-control forest blaze has almost doubled in size since Monday.

The local forest fire duty officer Bryan Oke said there was an option to allow some traffic through the shut Bay d’Espoir Highway at about 7 p.m. NT Monday.

“There was a short chance, a window to keep a motorcade through the closed area, to help with the vehicle backlog. We’ll be looking for similar options today; however, there is considerable smoke in the area, and we urge the public that that is a health and safety problem,” Oke told CBC Radio’s The St. John’s Morning Show. 

Oke says they can’t know when precisely they will let traffic through again since it relies on fire situations and the help of air services.

Read more: Bay d’Espoir highway shut after lightning sparks forest blazes in central

The only route in and out of the Connaigre Peninsula remains shut Tuesday morning, and an out-of-control forest blaze has almost doubled in size since Monday

The blaze has grown in size to 1006 hectares from an estimated 540 hectares on Monday, Oke said, but it is not burning near neighborhoods.

As many as three water bombers, two choppers, 24 firefighters, and one pump crew are wrestling with the flames around the highway, one of six forest fires in the region.

Rising smoke, which Oke said is thick and presents a health and safety problem for the units, pushed them to relocate their staging site Monday evening.

Smoke impacts air quality, and light rain predicted

An Environment Canada unique air quality report, covering a large portion of central Newfoundland from Buchans to Gander, is still in effect. The weather office told us smoke is drifting downwind from the blazes and is heavily robust in some places.

Source – CBC News

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