With fires raging in Central Newfoundland for two weeks, the Bay d’Espoire Highway will remain closed until at least Sunday morning, according to a government update released early Saturday.
Provincial wildfire watchman Jeff Motti says the closure is likely to continue into the weekend.
“I don’t hope for tomorrow in terms of wind. I think today we will try to get there today and start a fire,” Motti said.
“On Sunday afternoon, the maximum temperature will be 28 degrees, and the wind speed will reach 35 kilometers per hour. So it’s discouraging from our point of view because of the strong winds that fueled the fires and caused the huge fire growth that we’re seeing.” I see now.”
There are four active fires on the island, according to the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture. While the fire near Deer Pond is under control, as of Saturday morning, three more fires were out of control – near Paradise Lake, Bay d’Espoire Highway and South Lake.
The largest of them is located near the Bay d’Espoire highway, its area is estimated at 5,180 hectares, which is a little more than nine football fields.
The fire of Paradise Lake covers about 3884 hectares.
Motti urges people to stay away from the area, where there are about 200 huts.
“We don’t want people to enter the area when we have warnings,” Motti said.
“Listen to what we are saying. We don’t make that choice… In recent days, we haven’t had to deal with anyone who was in their cabins and who shouldn’t have been in their cabins. , it was something that kind of connected some of our resources.”
More than 50 provincial employees and nine crews from Quebec are currently fighting four active fires in the region, Motti said.
In a statement released on Friday, the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture also banned open fire in both the eastern and central areas of the island.
The ban, which will be in effect from Saturday midnight until August 16, prohibits campfires in or within 300 meters of forested areas.
“This is a result of the recent dry, hot and windy conditions … that have occurred in Newfoundland, as well as a lot of fires in the area, of course, at the present time,” Motti said.
Meanwhile, Environment Canada has released an air quality statement for northeast Newfoundland, including Grand Falls Windsor, Clarenville, the Bonavista Peninsula and the Terra Nova area.
The statement also said that the smoke is expected to spread over eastern Newfoundland on Saturday morning and this plume of smoke could lead to a deterioration in air quality for a while until the wind changes to the south.
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