Rainfall helps forest fire crews in western Labrador

Department of Natural Resources officials gave the town of Wabush a briefing on Thursday to provide an update on a forest fire that has been burning out of control since June 23.

Section of Trans-Labrador Highway re-opened

An aerial shot of some of the destruction caused by the forest fires that continue to burn in western Labrador. (CBC)

Department of Natural Resources officials have given the town of Wabush an update on the nearby forest fire that has been burning out of control since June 23.

The fire is still about 27,000 hectares in size. Overnight, the fire burnt an additional 200 hectares in one area. 

About 60 personnel, three helicopters and an incident management team are in the area to combat the fire. Two water bombers are available, as well as an infrared scanner to identify hot spots.

On Thursday afternoon, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary re-opened Route 500 of the Trans-Labrador Highway to traffic from the Quebec border to Gull Island.

The decision was based on the 10 to 12 millimetres of rain that fell in the area on Thursday morning, as well as the lack of hot spots near the highway.

Wabush residents are once again being asked to refrain from returning to their cabins. Officials said the area, particularly between Route 500 and Southeast Arm, has been significantly damaged by fire.

Access to the area of Blueberry Hill and Moose Head Lake remains restricted.

An outdoor fire ban continues in all Labrador regions.

Cooking with gas barbeques and CSA-approved patio wood-burning devices are excluded from the ban.

Fireworks are included in the ban, except for sanctioned events conducted by municipalities that have appropriate fire suppression resources on hand.