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Labrador fire evacuation order lifted

Fire burns in Labrador. Photo: June 20
Fire burns in Labrador. Photo: June 20

Staff writers

June 24, 2012 — Hundreds of evacuees have been given the okay to return home after a shift in winds helped ease the forest fire situation in Labrador.

It's been an active fire season in Labrador, with flames raging in May as well.
It's been an active fire season in Labrador, with flames raging in May as well.

The RCMP have lifted an evacuation order for two adjacent communities in Labrador that were threatened by a large forest fire.

About 1,800 people had been told to leave their homes on Saturday as flames advanced to within 28 kilometres of the towns of North West River and Sheshatshiu. Most were relocated to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. 

Those residents were given the "okay" to return to their homes on Monday. 

Two water bombers and helicopters were being used to dump water on the fire, which is about six kilometres wide and 20 kilometres long.

Winds had been helping carrying the flames, but have since shifted and are now blowing from the east and southeast. 

Eric Young, a provincial fire duty officer in Newfoundland and Labrador,  said dry conditions and lightning strikes are to blame for most of the fires that have started this season.

"It's been really difficult," he said. "The south coast and Goose Bay area of Labrador has been extremely, extremely dry, and it's caused us a lot of grief."  

Starting Monday night, The Newfoundland and Labrador government is implementing a province-wide fire ban. Until further notice, people will not be allowed to have camp fires and brush burning in and around forested areas.

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