Provincial fire crews battling series of small forest fires caused by lightning in eastern Newfoundland

Two air tankers are being used to fight several small wildfires in the Thorburn Lake and Terra Nova National Park area after a lightning strike. (Provided by Bruce McTavish)

State fire crews had their hands full Monday evening after lightning struck several small wildfires in the Thorburn Lake area west of Clarenville.

Two air tankers are in the area along with a helicopter, state trooper Colin Carroll told CBC News.

By 5:30 p.m., ground crews were on their way to the area.

Another small fire broke out near Charlottetown, near the Terra Nova National Park border, but was brought under control by park crews, Carroll said.

Every minute there are other fires caused by lightning. We know there is a fire in the Trinity area; We have taken this step with a tanker and we have four crew members. Preparing the pipes there,” he said.

“This lightning strike has kept us a little busy, but we have our tankers in the air, our crews are ready and we’re doing our thing.”

Carroll said crews will continue to work late into the night and operations will be closed by Tuesday morning.

He’s also looking at the forecast for rain Tuesday through Wednesday.

“Hopefully we’ll get some rain here soon in these areas,” he said.

“It’s not unusual, but a fire like this puts us on high alert because we have to use all our staff, be ready to go and make sure we’re controlling other areas.”

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