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Open fire ban in east-central Newfoundland

Written by Javed Iqbal

(Bay d’Espoir Highway via Department of Transportation.)

The provincial government has proclaimed a ban on open fires for eastern and central Newfoundland.

The decision comes as crews continue to battle a serious series of wildfires in the Bay D’Espoir highway area. The hot and dry conditions are expected to continue for some time to come, adding to the challenges of fighting the flames.

The ban means that it is forbidden to light fires on forest land, or within 300 meters of forest land.

The ban will be in effect for about 10 days, until midnight on August 16.

Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture Minister Derrick Bragg conducted a flyover of the fires on Friday.

Archive photo

He says the flames are burning on both sides of the highway for at least three or four kilometers, bringing with it “intense” smoke.

Bragg describes some of the destruction in the wake of the fire.

In the Paradise Lake area, he can confirm that one cabin has been completely destroyed by the fire and several others are on its way. As a precaution, cabins in the area were sprayed with foam the other day.

Bragg says they are working to build a “fire break” in the area Saturday as a precaution if weather conditions don’t change, and he admits the weather is not working in their favor so far.

Bragg emphasizes the importance of cabin owners getting out of the area.

He says that they flew over Paradise Lake the other day and that the helicopter had to land because they noticed people in the area by their cabins. Bragg notes that most were there to collect items, but he stresses that “it’s too late” to enter the area and he doesn’t want anyone’s life to be in danger.

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Javed Iqbal

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