Instead of going to the cabin for the long weekend, some families in Labrador are using the time to rebuild the ones they lost to forest fires last year.

More than 60 cabins were burned to the ground when forest fires swept through western Labrador last summer.

Carl Simmons' lot is still covered in melted and charred remains — some of them he left there on purpose to remember the family cabin that once stood at the site.

Along with those remnants, there is now a new structure on the site — a two-storey cabin that Simmons has built with his a little help from his friends.


Carl Simmons says he is proud to have built a new structure on the only land where he could ever imagine owning a cabin. (CBC)

"I'm proud to be here," said Simmons. "I can walk around and just look around and say, 'Yeah, I did that.'"

Simmons built through most of the winter, pulling up supplies on his snowmobile and working in minus –40 C weather.

For other families who had cabins near Simmons on Blueberry Hill, this weekend will be their time to start rebuilding.

Many of the families who are rebuilding said they could not imagine going anywhere else. Simmons said for him, that was the case, too.

"Coming down here, just driving in the road, it feels like home. You're going down, you know where it's to. You know where everything is," he said.

"I know trails through the woods. This is the only place I'd build a cabin."

Simmons said he will spend this weekend working as he continues to pay for the supplies that went into the cabin.