Nfld. & Labrador

Provincial fire crews battling series of small forest fires caused by lightning in eastern Newfoundland

Provincial fire crews have their hands full Monday evening, as lightning strikes ignited several small forest fires in the Thorburn Lake area west of Clarenville.

'This flash of lightning has made us a little bit busy,' says provincial duty officer

Two air tankers are being used to battle several small forest fires after lightning moved through the areas of Thorburn Lake and Terra Nova National Park. (Submitted by Bruce Mactavish)

Provincial fire crews have their hands full Monday evening, as lightning strikes ignited several small forest fires in the Thorburn Lake area, west of Clarenville.

Two air tankers are in the area, along with a helicopter, provincial duty officer Colin Carroll, told CBC News.

Ground crews were heading toward the area at 5:30 p.m.

Another small fire was reported near Charlottetown near the border of Terra Nova National Park but was taken under control by park staff, said Carroll.

"There are some other fires that are popping up on a minute-by-minute basis because of the lightning that went through. We know there's a fire out around the Trinity area. We've actioned that with a tanker and we have four staff out there setting up hoses," he said. 

"This flash of lightning has made us a little bit busy, but we have our tankers in the air, we have our staff ready to go and we're going to do our thing."

Carroll said crews will continue to work until about nightfall, when operations will be shut down until Tuesday morning. 

He's also looking ahead at the forecast with rain on the horizon for Tuesday and early Wednesday. 

"We're hopeful that we get some rain relief here soon in those areas," he said. 

"It's not uncommon but this flash of fires like this does raise the alert level for us because we have to use all of our staff, we have to be ready to go and make sure we're monitoring other areas."

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