The evacuation order for North West River and Sheshatshiu in Labrador has been lifted.
A forest fire near the communities prompted the Department of Natural Resources to issue the evacuation order.
Based on the current forest fire condition and the forecasted weather conditions, and after consultation with community leaders, it was agreed that all residents could return to their homes.
Both communities remain under an evacuation alert.
The Happy Valley-Goose Bay detachment of the RCMP has released the following information:
The fire burning north west of the community of North West River continues to be battled by the Department of Natural Resources with water bombers and helicopters and remains a threat to both towns.
Both communities of North West River and Sheshatshiu have been evacuated and the RCMP will be restricting access to these communities until further notice. Evacuated residents are being temporarily accommodated in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and for their safety are asked not to try and return to their homes.
This evening the reception centre for those people evacuated from their homes will be moved from the Labrador Training Centre to Queen of Peace Middle School in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The reception centre at QPM School will open at 7:30 p.m. this date (June 24) and anyone needing accommodations is asked to check in at that location. Meals will also be served at the QPM School reception centre starting with breakfast on Monday morning June 25th.
The general public can call the following phone number which has been set up by the Town of Happy Valley/Goose Bay for more information (709)896-3321.
GOOSE BAY, N.L. — Labrador RCMP say anxiety is high among residents evacuated last night due to the threat of a raging forest fire.
RCMP media liaison Cpl. Rick Mills said roughly 1,800 people in North West River and Sheshatshiu were evacuated to Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
He said about 80 people chose not to evacuate North West River and more than 50 chose not to leave Sheshatshiu.
The fire is burning roughly 35 kilometres from the towns.
Although there have been similar fires before, some much closer to the towns, Mills said there’s a lot of anxiety and fear among displaced residents.
The department of natural resources is on hand to fight the fire, but Mills said the speed at which the fire is burning is concerning.
“We’re sort of at the whim of mother nature right now,” he said. “When you evacuate two whole communities it’s a concern for everybody.”
He said weather conditions aren’t favourable and rain isn’t expected until Thursday at the earliest.
Two water bombers are en route from Quebec to join three others in firefighting efforts.
There have been several forest fires in the area during the past month, and the one near North West River has been burning out of control for nearly a week