Nfld. & Labrador

Crews on scene of forest fire burning in Carbonear

A provincial fire crew is on the scene of a small but intense forest fire in Carbonear.

Fire is burning behind businesses on the corner of Columbus Dr. and Fox Farm Rd.

A fire crew is at the scene of a wild fire in Carbonear on Tuesday evening. (Submitted by Sonia Williams)

A provincial fire crew is on the scene of a small but intense forest fire in Carbonear.

Jeff Motty, provincial forest fire duty officer, told CBC News shortly after 7 p.m. the fire was first reported late Tuesday afternoon.

The fire is burning behind businesses on the corner of Columbus Drive and Fox Farm Road in the community. 

Motty says those businesses — a Canadian Tire and a Dairy Queen — aren't an immediate concern but there are some homes in the area. 

"There are houses in the distance that we're trying to protect. We're doing some structure protection. We're laying down some lines of foam there to help protect the forest and protect the homes as well," he said.

"We really just want to knock that down and put it out as best as possible. We've got enough fires on the go on the island right now — we just want to do our best to put that one to bed as quick as possible."

Motty said the initial report from Carbonear was that the fire had engulfed about 30 metres by 100 metres of space or about 0.3 of a hectare.

He said flames could be seen coming off the top of the trees, showing the intensity of the fire.

"That is an example of more extreme fire behaviour than, say, a ground fire, so it is definitely a concern of ours," Motty said.

Two crew members were deployed from Heart's Desire, and a water bomber from Gander is flying missions.

"With the proximity to the town, it could be a human-caused fire. But if they had lightning in the area it could also be a natural cause fire," said Motty.

"It's really too early to tell."

Bay d'Espoir Highway closed again

Meanwhile, the fire burning near the Bay d'Espoir Highway has kicked up again. The fire started July 24 and has since been burning through the area causing closures and disruptions to travellers navigating the roadway. 

Motty said the fire worsened Tuesday afternoon. So far, it has burned over 1,000 hectares of land.

"Around 1 p.m. today, the fire behaviour changed on the Bay d'Espoir site and we saw some of the edges light up. Winds increased on that site as well and really drove the fire," said Motty.

The highway was closed again Tuesday evening with fire crews heading back to the site Wednesday morning.

Motty said a further assessment is expected around 8:30 a.m.

"We've been having a lot of hot and dry weather, so any rain we actually do get really doesn't wet the ground enough," he said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Lukas Wall