NL Gazette

Prominent highway reopens to cut-off Newfoundland communities as forest-fires persist to rage

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • The Paradise Lake fire exceeds 10,000 hectares in size.
  • Two huge forest fires continue to burn in central Newfoundland. 
  • The fire around the Bay d’Espoir Highway increased by about 10 percent on Monday. 

A vital road connection into Newfoundland’s Coast of Bays area will remain open overnight Tuesday. 

In a press release sent Tuesday night, the region said the Bay d’Espoir Highway would stay open. Still, drivers should “note that overnight visibility may be diminished and citizens should drive carefully.” 

“This decision will be reassessed in the morning as temperature and visibility conditions could alter,” stated the release. 

Forest routes along the highway are still shut, and the region said cabin owners should not enter the area.

Route 360 reopened midday Tuesday after the region shut it for days amid two ongoing wildfires that have kept almost 20,000 people under a state of emergency since Saturday.

Read more: Both Newfoundland forest fires increase overnight as units expect the rainy-forecast comes-true

A vital road connection into Newfoundland’s Coast of Bays area will remain open overnight Tuesday

A mixture of rain, changing winds, and a battery of firefighting strategies have doused the flames sufficiently to allow traffic along the Bay d’Espoir Highway, allowing food and other goods into the abandoned communities in the Coast of Bays area.

“Despite the rain … they’re still active blazes, burning wildly,” Premier Andrew Furey told journalists at an afternoon press conference. “It is not included. It is not under control.”

Furey warned that the two primary fires, burning closely together in a forested region of central Newfoundland just south of Grand Falls-Windsor, had doubled in size since Sunday evening and now blazed over 200 square kilometers.

Fire units saw some victory Tuesday, but the premier mentioned their strategies rely on shifting winds. “They’re still in attack mode,” he said. “They’re actually in the critical phase of battling this fire.”

Source – CBC News

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