CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, NL – With heavy smoke, flames and temperatures in the 20s, Conception Bay South Fire Department (CBSFD) firefighters and regional foresters along with water bombers battled a massive wildfire in the city on Sunday, July 17th. .
CBSFD crews got the call around noon for a brush fire at the South end of Upper Gulls on Scott Road, but it quickly turned into a large wildfire, requiring off-duty firefighters on duty and a regional forest water bomber.
At one point, the flames jumped the tracks on Andrew Street, forcing many to retreat from the smoke and flames, including a Telegram photojournalist at the scene.
After the smoke and flames subsided a bit, CBSFD crews drove into the smoke in their off-road vehicle as they headed to the area to fight the fire.
A CBSFD utility truck is parked at a fire station on Pumper Grove Place to help fill a pumper truck with water.
Although it is known that there is a farm with cattle in the barn in the area where the fire took place, it is believed that houses and properties in the area escaped the fire.
A man arrived at the scene saying, “His in-laws live there,” but after checking on the family, he returned safely a little later.
Small children living on the south end of Scott Pond Road were startled by the water bomber drops as they watched in horror. He said, “It just happened like a volcano erupting from the ground.
Several roads were closed to traffic until the fire was brought under control by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and there were no further signs of the fire spreading.
In addition to the water bomb, several state forest fire trucks were also called to the area on Andrew Road, east of Larch Grove Place.
The water bomber took water from Paddy’s Pond and Concession Bay close to the fire to make rapid drops of water to bring down the fire significantly.
Investigators are investigating a possible cause after the fire is completely out, but will monitor the affected forest area for any hot spots.
Although tense at times, the fire appeared to be under control by 4pm on Sunday afternoon.