POLITICS

Troops training while Labrador fire broke out

05/29/2012 10:04 EDT | Updated 07/29/2012 05:12 EDT

The military has confirmed that two search and rescue technicians with the Canadian Forces were involved in a training exercise when a fire broke out at an air base in central Labrador.

However, 5 Wing Goose Bay is not commenting on what role the training exercise had in the start of the fire, which is now the subject of two investigations.

Both the Department of National Defence and Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Natural Resources are investigating the fire that started Friday and expanded through the weekend before being brought under control.

Capt. Dave Bowen, the public affairs officer with 5 Wing Goose Bay, said in an email to CBC News that the two members of the forces who had been training "immediately reported the fire and responded with the equipment they had with them, and worked alongside firefighters to help contain the fire."

DND is not commenting, for now, on what type of training the technicians were conducting.

The Canadian Forces brought in 150 troops from its base in Gagetown, N.B., as part of an immediate response unit. The troops were put to work with shovels and axes, and on Monday were scouring the area looking for small areas of smoke.

While one of the province's water bombers has returned to Newfoundland, another is standing by in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.