Crews continue to battle Labrador forest fire that forced town to evacuate

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WABUSH, N.L. - Crews continue to battle a forest fire in western Labrador which has forced the evacuation of a small mining town that is shrouded in smoke from the blaze.

Air quality concerns due to smoke from the fire burning four kilometres away forced the evacuation of the community of Wabush last night.

Approximately 1,300 residents have registered with the Canadian Red Cross in nearby Labrador City.

An official with Fire and Emergency Services says the fire hasn't advanced any closer to Wabush, nor has it grown overnight, but it continues to burn.

At least one waterbomber is flying over the area and officials are hoping to get more resources in the air once a combination of smoke and fog clears.

The forest fire is being blamed for a breakdown in phone service for calls made between Wabush and Labrador City, including those to 911. Crews are working to fix the problem.

The fire, which has consumed about 60 square kilometres since last Sunday, has also prompted the closure of the Trans-Labrador Highway.

Wabush, which is home to about 1,800 people, remains under a state of emergency and only first responders remain in the community.

Canada Day festivities planned for Monday in Labrador City have been postponed.

Organizations: Canadian Red Cross, Fire and Emergency Services, Trans-Labrador Highway

Geographic location: Labrador, WABUSH

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