Nfld. & Labrador

Forest fire near Grates Cove decreasing in size, despite evacuation of ground crews

Fire crews have returned to the scene of a forest fire in the Grates Cove and Daniel's Cove areas Saturday.

Fire duty officer says there's been 50 per cent containment of fire

The forest fire in the Grates Cove area has decreased in size, according to Jeff Motty, a forest protection officer with the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources. (Amber Hyde/Facebook)

Changing winds are forcing ground crews away from a forest fire that's been burning near Grates Cove and Daniel's Cove on the Avalon Peninsula since Friday afternoon, but officials say size the blaze is decreasing.

Jeff Motty, a forest protection officer with the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, told CBC News that personnel have been back on the ground since 8 a.m. Saturday. 

Motty said as of shortly before 3 p.m., the fire had decreased in size and is estimated to be three kilometres long and 0.6 kilometres wide. He said that makes the fire about 70 hectares smaller than on Friday night and decreases the risk of potential property damage.

A change in wind direction, strong gusts and aggressive flare-ups forced an evacuation of crews on the ground, Motty said, leaving two CL-415 water bombers and a helicopter to fight the fire from the air. 

Motty said while the fire was still technically "out of control," it is manageable and was 50 per cent contained on Saturday afternoon. 

He said there is still a lot of smoke and some active flame.

Residents in the cabin development area near Daniel's Cove were advised to evacuate Friday night.

The RCMP were also brought in Saturday afternoon to assist in controlling traffic in the area.

​Forestry officials advise the public to avoid the area of the fire for their own safety and the safety of fire crews.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador 

With files from Andrew Sampson