State of emergency remains in effect in Wabush
Map of the forest fire areas in Labrador West. — Map from the Department of Natural Resources
Forest fires in western Labrador and Quebec are still out of control, the town of Wabush states in a news release this afternoon.
The fire is still 27,000 hectares, of which 17,000 hectares are in the province of Quebec, according to a briefing from the Department of Natural Resources.
While the fire did not advance beyond its existing boundaries overnight, it remains out of control and the state of emergency is still in effect, the town advises. People are advised to remain alert.
Three water bombers, 50 personnel, one incident management team, four helicopters, and one infrared scanner are available fighting the fire.
Visibility is reported good today, and some infrared scanning did take place.
Ground crews are deployed throughout various sites and are focusing efforts on locating and extinguishing hot spots. As well, firefighters from the Iron Ore Company of Canada, and the Labrador City and Wabush fire departments are assisting ground crews along the Trans Labrador Highway extinguishing hot spots.
Additional ground crews were to arrive today from the island portion of the province.
There is a possibility of smoke coming in again from Quebec on Wednesday impacting visibility and air quality.
People are being warned to stay out of the fire area and should not attempt entry by boat, quad or other means. Anyone being around cabins that have burned or are still smoldering may be breathing highly toxic chemicals.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says that while all phones, including 911, are currently operational, it is important to keep the numbers listed handy in the event that problems reoccur with the fibre optic system.
• Landline to landline:
The number to call for the RNC Labrador West area: 709-944-7602;
Capt. William Jackman Memorial Hospital: 709-944-2632;
• Landline to landline In Wabush:
Wabush Fire and Emergency Service: 709-282-3211;
Labrador City Fire: 709-944-7778
• Cell phone to cell phone:
Cell phone numbers that will work from cell phone to cell phone in the event of an emergency include:
Labrador City Fire: 709-282-8268
Also, the release notes the most common and effective measure to minimize health impacts during a smoke episode is to stay indoors. Keep your house cool. Close windows and shutters. Move to the coolest room in the house. In the long term, ensure energy‐efficient cooling and heating.
People would be well advised to create a “clean room” in their homes. A good choice is an interior room, with as few windows and doors as possible, such as a bedroom.
Anyone experiencing respiratory or other breathing problems should consult their family physician or Labrador-Grenfell Health, 944-2632.
Water consumption principles have been established: do not drink water from the tap; do not brush your teeth with tap water; do not bath babies in tap water and sponge bathe small children.
Tap water may be used by adults for bathing, washing clothes, etc.
Water continues to be available at the water station established at the Labrador City Arena. It is necessary for you to bring your own containers.
Keep your “to go” kit” handy, which should include the following:
2. Change of clothing.
3. Diapers and formula for infants.
4. Bank card, cash.
5. Cell phone and charger.
6. Personal toiletries.
Check town websites for additional information.