Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


An aerial view of the fire in the Bocabec and Chamcook areas on Monday, May 29, 2023. Image: Submitted/Jamieson Smith

UPDATE: Saint Andrews-area fire remains ‘pretty calm’: officials

By Brad Perry May 31, 2023 | 4:14 PM

Officials say a large forest fire continuing to burn in the Saint Andrews area is considered manageable at this time.

But the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development says it could take some time to fully extinguish it.

More than 50 firefighters are on the ground Wednesday continuing to battle the ‘Stein Lake’ fire in the Bocabec and Chamcook areas.

Roger Collet, the province’s wildfire prevention officer, said crews are working to extinguish “several hundred” hotspots.

“Most of them are well inside the burn area so they’re not on the edges — those are the ones that would concern us most. If those get going again then there’s the fresh fuel for it to continue burning,” Collet said during a briefing in Fredericton.

“As long as they’re inside, there’s less of a concern for us, but we’re keeping an eye on them because there is some fuel inside the burn area that hasn’t burned up yet.”

Fire now estimated at 540 hectares

Between 250 and 400 homes were evacuated on Sunday after an ATV fire became a fast-moving forest fire.

Evacuated residents were given the green light to return home on Tuesday afternoon, but were urged to be aware of their surroundings since the fire is still burning at this point.

The fire was estimated to be about 540 hectares (1,334 acres) in size as of Wednesday, up from 250 hectares (617 acres) on Tuesday.

But Collet assured residents that the fire has not grown in size. He said the heavy smoke early on made it difficult for crews to estimate the size of the blaze.

“Obviously it was bigger than what they estimated from the air,” said Collet. “In reality, at the end of day one, it was 540 hectares.”

Collet said the fire remained “pretty calm” on Wednesday and was mostly smouldering at this point.

He said the fire is still considered out of control at this point, even though it is not getting any bigger.

“We estimate maybe about 15 to 20 per cent contained, but the mechanism doesn’t allow us to call it contained until we get to 100 per cent,” said Collet.

Collet said the fire is one they will have to watch for “a long time,” likely into the next few weeks.

Speed limits on Route 127 in Chamcook and Bocabec have been temporarily reduced because of reduced visibility and the large number of first responders and workers on the roadside.

More fires burning in N.B.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were a dozen active fires throughout the province, though the Stein Lake blaze was the only one still considered out of control. The remaining fires were listed as contained, under control or being patrolled.

Meanwhile, the province confirmed Thursday that it has sent air tankers and support planes to Nova Scotia as that province continues to deal with devastating forest fires.

Collet said coverage plans are in place should more fires flare up in New Brunswick.

“We’re really not leaving ourselves in peril here. We have ourselves covered. We’re not really expecting a lot of fires today because of the calm conditions,” he said.

The entire province remains under a no-burn advisory until further notice.


Leave a Reply