Forest fires burning in Upper Lake Melville

Bonnie Learning
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Lightening likely cause, but not determined, says official

Flames and smoke were clearly visible on the night of Aug. 13, as four fires — located eight kilometres from the village of Mud Lake — burned through the night and into late last week. Water bombers and ground crews were on the scene of those fires, as well as two 'hot spots' on Grand Lake Road near Happy Valley-Goose Bay last week. It is believed lightening was the cause of all the fires, but has yet to be determined.


Six active forest fires in the upper Lake Melville are were keeping water bombers and ground crews busy as of last Thursday.

“There are four active fires burning eight kilometres from the community of Mud Lake,” said Steve Balsom, Provincial Fire Duty Officer with the Department of Natural Resources, on Aug. 14.

“They are approximately 200 hectares in size each, but they pose no threat to the community itself. The weather is working in out favour today with the winds.”

Balsom said although the official cause of the fires has yet to be determined, it is highly suspected lightning is the culprit.

“There was a flurry of lightning activity in the area late Tuesday, but we can't say for sure that was the cause until an investigation is carried out.”

Two other areas in the region currently being monitored is the Grand Lake Road area.

“These two areas are just smoky 'hot spots',” explained Balsom. “There is no open flame.”

Balsom said there is no threat to cabin owners in the area and those hot spots are located a good distance from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

As of Thursday, Balsom said a water bomber was working on the Mud Lake area fires, and a ground crew and second water bomber was working the Grand Lake road area.

“A dozen firefighters will also be on the ground in Goose Bay today (Aug. 14) from the island,” said Balsom.

“Our hope is, if safe to do so, we will get a ground crew on the Mud Lake fires.”

He noted a third water bomber is on stand-by in Wabush should it be required.




Organizations: Department of Natual Resources

Geographic location: Upper Lake Melville, Mud Lake, Grand Lake Road

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