3:55 p.m. May 31, 2023
31 May 2023
SAINT ANDREWS (GNB) – Fire lines have been maintained for the past two days at the Stein Lake area fire and the fire management team is confident that it is manageable at this time. However, fire officials warn this could change.
Firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development and other agencies continue to work on the fire.
“I thank our hard-working firefighters for their determination and bravery as they continue to fight this fire,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “I also applaud the support and donations of food, water and lodging to first responders and evacuees by residents of the areas impacted by the fire.”
While manageable at this time, the fire continues to be listed as out of control. In light of the progress over the past two days and the current state of the fire, the provincial government has provided assistance to Nova Scotia as that province continues to deal with devastating forest fires.
Air tankers and support planes from New Brunswick have been sent to assist. However, plans for coverage are in place should additional support be needed in New Brunswick.
Speed limits on Highway 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. Signs are in place and the new limits will be strictly enforced.
Residents who left their homes due to the fire were able to return to their homes on Tuesday but were reminded to remain on alert. However, the W.C. O’Neill Arena in Saint Andrews remains open as a reception area for those who need it from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
There continues to be a number of forest fires across the province. The public is asked to continue to abide by the provincewide burn ban as conditions remain extremely dry.
“At this time, a number of organizations within the province have taken it upon themselves to halt or restrict their activities in the forest,” said Premier Higgs. “These steps are greatly appreciated. I remind all New Brunswickers to take precautions everywhere in the province. A fire like this could just as easily be started in a backyard or subdivision. Please remain vigilant.”
New Brunswickers are encouraged to monitor the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development’s Forest Fire Watch page.
Information about road closures in the area is also available online at 511 New Brunswick.
Residents are reminded to take precautions when heavy smoke affects air quality. Infants, children, pregnant women, older adults, smokers and people with chronic heart or lung disease should stay indoors to reduce their exposure to the outdoor air. If smoke conditions become severe, people may experience eye or throat irritation and possibly shortness of breath. People should adapt their activities as necessary.
Public Health officials also recommend that residents follow these guidelines if they can taste or smell smoke in the air:
Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing or chest discomfort should consult their physician or contact Tele-Care 811.