Fire crews battling brush fire near Lark Harbour

Firefighters in western Newfoundland's Bay of Islands are still fighting a brush fire in the Lark Harbour area, after nearby residents reported smoke and flames overnight on Thursday.
Lark Harbour is a community in the Bay of Islands, on Newfoundland's west coast. (Google)

Firefighters in western Newfoundland's Bay of Islands are still fighting a brush fire in the Lark Harbour area, after nearby residents reported smoke and flames overnight on Thursday.

The first call came in around 9 p.m. and the province's fire duty officer Eric Young said crews quickly located the blaze and went to work getting it under control.

"The fire was up on a bit of a ridge behind the school in the town," he told CBC's Corner Brook Morning Show.

"It was a bit of a concern at the time because we didn't really know what was going to happen."

Luckily for those living in the area, Young said the winds died down and the fire actually moved away from the community. However, efforts were put on hold once the sun went down.

"There was very little we could do late last evening because it got dark and we normally don't fight fires after dark because of the safety aspect of it," he said.

"Luckily the fire never really grew much in size so early this morning we had our crews on it."

According to Young, the fire was over a hectare in size, in a remote area and firefighters are using a helicopter to dump water on identified hot spots. He said the situation is under control and he doesn't expect the fire to get any worse at this point.

"It's still burning and it probably will be for much of today. It's in low brush and scrub up on the side of the hill," he said.

"We've got a good jump on it early this morning with the helicopter and bucket and our crews are set up with their pumps, so I think our crews will have the upper hand on this one later today."

Fire investigator en route

The cause of the blaze is still unclear, and a fire investigator is heading to the area to work on determining the point of origin and will update the town at a later time.

Young said he has some suspicions as to what happened, but doesn't want to jump to any conclusions until after the investigation.

Meanwhile, he said residents should feel lucky that the weather was cooperative.

"More than likely it was a human cause but we will do an investigation and have a formal report," he said.

"Normally this time of year when the wind drops and it gets cooler temperatures the fire doesn't move very fast, so we're really lucky for that."

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