NEWS

Industrial area of Goose Bay evacuated as fire burns

05/25/2012 04:29 EDT | Updated 07/25/2012 05:12 EDT

A forest fire in Happy Valley-Goose Bay has forced officials to evacuate an industrial area of the town, and put other residents on alert.

As of early Friday evening, the blaze was still being categorized as out of control, although progress was being made.

The fire broke out near the Canadian Forces base in the Labrador town earlier in the day.

Plumes of black smoke billowed from the north side of the base’s runway as the blaze grew in size.

Officials evacuated an area called the north side, a mainly industrial part of the town. Roads were blocked in the area.

The highway to North West River was also declared off limits for a time, resulting in long lineups of traffic.

The airport was closed to all flights except medevacs.

The mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay was pleading with people to stay away from the area of the fire.

Mayor Leo Abbass said heavy traffic was causing problems for emergency vehicles.

The town didn't declare a state of emergency, but Abbass said officials are getting the town arena prepared in case of further evacuations.

Police said residents of the Spruce Park area of town should be ready to leave. At around 6:45 p.m. Friday, Abbass told CBC News that possibility was being "downgraded" to unlikely.

Three helicopters were at work battling the blaze. Waterbombers also arrived on the scene. There were also 24 firefighters working on the ground with three fire trucks.

A provincial fire duty officer told CBC News Friday afternoon that the fire was about four kilometres by a half kilometre in size.

Weather conditions in the area were scorching hot Friday, reaching record highs of 32 C.

There were showers in the forecast for the weekend, however.

There were no reports of injuries.

No homes were located in the area of the fire.

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