New Brunswick

Crews contain 2 forest fires in Miramichi region over the weekend

Two major forest fires in the Miramichi area have been contained, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development.

A fire about 30 kilometres northwest of Chipman is still classified as out of control

Air tankers are fly over the Bay du Vin area last week as they circle to fill with water from the Miramichi River. (Submitted/Michel Savoie)

Two major forest fires in the Miramichi area have been contained, according to Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development.

Kelly Cormier, a department spokesperson, said ground crews will be putting out hot spots at the Bartibog and Hell's Gate fires on Monday. 

"The fires have not grown since Friday," Cormier said in an emailed statement to CBC News.

Fires located in remote areas

Last week, the Bartibog fire was estimated to cover about 57 hectares, with the Hell's Gate fire covering about 18 hectares. 

Both fires are in remote areas with no communities in danger.

Meanwhile, a fire about 30 kilometres northwest of Chipman is still classified as out of control but is about 85 per cent contained. 

Last week smoke from two fires in the Miramichi region could be smelled as far away as Moncton. (Submitted)

Cormier said ground crews made "good progress" on Sunday and will continue battling the blaze on Monday.  

"The area affected has not increased," she said. 

Hot weather can cause jump in forest fires

A combination of dry, hot weather has caused an increase in the number of forest fires across New Brunswick this year.

Typically, the province sees between 250 and 300 forest fires in a season.

So far in 2020, there have been 358.

Wildfire prevention officer Roger Collet said it can sometimes be difficult to determine how a wildfire started, but lightning is often the cause.

"If we know there's been lightning that has gone through the area … in the previous day or two, that's the first clue," he said.

About the Author

Elizabeth Fraser

Reporter/Editor

Elizabeth Fraser is a reporter/editor with CBC New Brunswick based in Fredericton. She's originally from Manitoba. Story tip? elizabeth.fraser@cbc.ca

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