Firefighters with the Department of Natural Resources and the Conception Bay South Fire Department spent hours on Sunday fighting a forest fire in Upper Gullies.
First accounts of the fire started coming in on social media during the lunch hour. At times flames could be seen reaching over the treetops in the woods off Larch Grove Road. Area residents were on edge, with the fire growing in intensity in the heat, wind, and dry conditions.
Water was gathered from Conception Bay and from Paddy’s Pond as two water bombers soaked the area in an effort to contain and douse the flames. Dozens of onlookers stopped to watch.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary turned to social media around 2:00 to urge the public to avoid the area, and to refrain from stopping on Peacekeepers Way to watch the spectacle.
Shortly before 5:00 p.m. the blaze was declared under control. Crews with the Department of Natural Resources remained on the scene into the evening to mop up hot spots and ensure there were no flare-ups.
With a recent period of hot, dry weather the fire hazard index in eastern and central Newfoundland is either very high or extreme. Under these conditions fires start very easily and spread rapidly, challenging fire suppression efforts. Many forest related activities are banned or restricted, including all open air fires and campfires.
For more information visit the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Fire Hazard Map