A state of emergency remains in place for central Newfoundland, as well as a provincewide outdoor fire ban, as a long-burning forest fire continues to grow.
The state of emergency initially covered the areas of Grand Falls-Windsor, Bishop’s Falls and the Connaigre Peninsula, but was extended to the area of Botwood on Sunday afternoon.
Premier Andrew Furey said the current predictive path of the blaze itself does not directly impact any communities, but changing wind patterns were making the situation difficult to handle.
At a news conference Sunday alongside Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture Minister Derrick Bragg and Department of Natural Resources Incident Commander Craig Coady, Furey said conditions changed over 36 hours, and they were concerned about significant smoke impact.
Coady said the wildfires will most likely continue to burn out of control due to the weather conditions, which have been complicating firefighting efforts.
The fire has been burning for close to two weeks in central Newfoundland and has prompted road closures, including the Bay d’Espoir Highway, which is the only road connecting the communities of Harbour Breton, Hermitage and Conne River to the Trans-Canada Highway, the main thoroughfare across the province.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2022.
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