Bay d’Espoir highway closed after lightning sparks forest fires in central

Route 360 — better known as Bay D’Espoir Highway — was closed on Sunday afternoon due to forest fires burning near the Northwest Gander River.

The fire was likely ignited due to lightning strikes in the area, according to the provincial wildfire duty officer.

It was one of several fires reported in the central region on Sunday, leaving the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture scrambling to take stock of the fires and prioritize responses.

As of early Sunday evening, there was no estimate on size, but the department said a helicopter and pump truck were handling the Bay D’Espoir Highway fire.

The fire was about 42 kilometres south from the Trans Canada Highway, cutting off all the communities on Routes 360, 362 and 364 — including Milltown-Head of Bay D’Espoir, St. Alban’s, Conne River, Harbour Breton, Hermitage, and more.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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