Residents were on edge as a forest fire burned out of control Monday near Long Harbour, fuelled by extremely dry conditions.
The fire burned around the future site of the Vale Inco nickel refinery, across the harbour from the town, but with the wind blowing from that direction, the town was blanketed in smoke.
"The smoke has tapered off a little bit, but it's hard to tell because it looked like that earlier too, and then it just all cropped up again," said resident Linda Murphy. "We had to stay indoors and keep all the windows closed, and the sun looked like it was a big red ball in the sky, where there was so much smoke."
Forestry officer Barry Garland said it could be several days before the fire is brought fully under control and hot spots are adequately doused - two water bombers are tasked with reining in the blaze.
"It's not raging, but it is not under control," he said. "It's still burning, there would still be hot spots in it, there would probably still be points of flare-up."
Garland downplayed the risk to the town, saying that with the harbour between the fire and the houses, it would "take something spectacular to create a danger."
Nonetheless, residents were worried by the fire, which was visible except when the thick banks of smoke obscured it.
"Of course everybody's concerned, you'd have to be, wouldn't you?" said Roger Burke, who lives in Long Harbour. "It's only a hundred feet across the harbour."
It's unclear how the Vale Inco site was faring at press time, with more than 200 workers and mobile equipment having been evacuated.
Ground has already been broken on the project.
"Vale Inco have brought in some construction trailers, for some of the contractors," said Deputy Mayor Ed Bruce. "It's getting pretty close to where that's to."