NEWS

700-hectare Labrador fire has moved off CF base

05/26/2012 08:51 EDT | Updated 07/26/2012 05:12 EDT

A forest fire continues to burn out of control near Happy Valley-Goose Bay today and has spread beyond the boundaries of the Canadian Forces base where it began, according to provincial firefighting officials.

The mayor of the community said the fire that started on the Canadian Forces 5 Wing Goose Bay base appeared to have slowed yesterday evening but picked up again overnight and early Saturday morning.

"Firefighting officials are not using the words under control. They fought it all night," said Leo Abbass. "I was told that around midnight there was a flareup and I was told that around 6:30 a.m. there was another flareup."

He said there is no threat to residential areas because the fire appears to be moving away from the community.

Abbass said the fire has moved off the property of the 5 Wing Goose Bay Base.

"We're told that we are going to get some rain this afternoon.We don't often pray for rain but we are praying for it today," he said.

Abbass said the there is no official word on the cause of the fire yet.

Peter Cowan, a CBC reporter in Labrador, said Saturday afternoon that it is now a 700-hectare fire.

A provincial forest fire duty officer said three helicopters were in the sky working the fire, with almost 40 men on the ground and water bombers on stand by.

Heavy, black and grey smoke quickly spread across the community yesterday.

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.

That road reopened by early evening and all evacuation orders have been lifted.

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

There were no reports of injuries.

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