Bay d’Espoir road fire in central Newfoundland now 20% contained


Forest fire damage near the Bay d’Espoir Highway in central Newfoundland. (Darrell Roberts/CBC)

In an update from the Department of Forestry, the Bay d’Espoir highway fire is considered 20% under control as of Sunday. Favorable weather conditions have helped crews fight the fire in recent days.

However, the nearby Paradise Lake fire is still out of control. For both fires, the department assigned 2 helicopters, along with air and ground crews to fight the blaze.

Roads reopen as cabin owners ignore warnings

The news comes as the department has reopened a number of forest access roads in the Paradise Lake area and Highway 360, so residents can access their cabins and campers. However, not all forest access roads or chalets are accessible. The ministry invites people to consult this map to determine which roads are accessible.

The Forest Department released this map on Sunday, to indicate which logging roads remained closed. Closed forest access roads are in yellow. The two white hatched areas are the active wildfires and are not accessible. The “STOP” symbols represent points at which the public may not go any further because they are considered dangerous. (The Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture)

If residents decide to use the newly opened forest access roads, the ministry said they should drive carefully and safely and be aware that crews continue to fight wildfires in the wider area.

Those logging roads were reopened after the department earlier asked people to stop ignoring closed access roads in active fire areas.

In a news release, the department said it regularly receives reports of residents visiting their cabins in the Bay d’Espoir, Paradise Lake and Great Rattling highway area.

The department said this could compromise the ability of crews to fight fires, as well as endanger the lives of residents, crew members and first responders. Resource Enforcement Officers patrol the area.

Although some logging roads remain closed, Route 360 ​​is now open with no scheduled updates unless conditions change.

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