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'It is critical that New Brunswickers remain vigilant': Wildfire still out of control in Charlotte County, N.B.

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Crews in New Brunswick continued to battle a wildfire in the Stein Lake area of Charlotte County Tuesday.

“The fire continues to be considered out of control, although firefighters and water bombers were able to do a lot of work yesterday to contain the blaze,” said Public Safety Minister Kris Austin. “A fire like this could have just as easily started in someone’s backyard or out on a trail. Please continue to be aware of the danger that any activity such as leaving a barbecue unattended, disposing of used charcoal, or setting off fireworks could cause.”

The province is asking anyone who has been required to evacuate their home to register with the Red Cross at the W.C. O’Neill Arena in Saint Andrews to ensure help can be offered to them. The arena will also continue to be open as a comfort centre for those needing food and accommodation.

At this time, the province says more than 50 firefighters are working on the Stein Lake fire, with more equipment being sent.

“Yesterday, waterbombers were able to build fire retardant lines to protect structures and suppress flare ups,” reads a news release from the province.

“Today’s efforts are focused on groundwork, with water bombers on standby in case of any flare ups. Structure protection crews remain available.”

According to the news release, weather forecasts for the area show continuing dry conditions and potential shifts in wind later Tuesday and into Thursday, creating the potential for additional fires.

The provincial fire prevention officer, Roger Collet, says it important for New Brunswickers to do their part to prevent further forest fires.

“Wildfires can threaten homes and destroy wildlife habitat,” said Collet. “The entire province remains under a burn ban. Conditions are extremely dry and any burning activity could be disastrous. It is critical that New Brunswickers remain vigilant.”

Residents are being asked to monitor the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Developments Forest Fire Watch page. Road closures are also available online at 511 New Brunswick.

Public Health officials also recommend that residents follow these guidelines if they can taste or smell smoke in the air:

  •   Be aware of your symptoms.
  •  Reduce levels of physical activity as necessary.
  • Continue sheltering indoors with windows closed.
  •  Turn air exchangers off to avoid bringing outside air into the home.

Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing or chest discomfort should consult their physician or contact Tele-Care 811. People in severe distress should always call 911 immediately.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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