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Wabush Mayor says water bomber should be stationed in Labrador West

A water bomber at Wabush airport during the forest fire of 2013. The fire burned close to town and destroyed many cabins
A water bomber at Wabush airport during the forest fire of 2013. The fire burned close to town and destroyed many cabins - Mike Power

WABUSH, N.L. — Wabush Mayor Ron Barron wants the provincial government to have one of its water bombers stationed in Labrador West.

“There has been a water bomber here since 1986, as far as I can recall, and there should be one here every summer,” he said.

Barron referred to the fire of 2013, when the community was evacuated and many cabins were destroyed.
The Mayor questions if the entire Labrador region would be better served from one central location like Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

 “The water bomber was stationed in Happy Valley-Goose Bay last year because of construction at the Wabush airport, it should be returned here,” he said.

Benefit

 “In my opinion, having an aircraft in Labrador West would be a benefit. You shouldn’t have all your eggs in one basket,” he said. “What if there’s a fire and aircraft can’t get out of Goose Bay because of weather?

“Having planes in two regions would make sense. A flight from Wabush to Nain is not much longer than Goose Bay to Nain.”
Barron also says, the idea of sending a plane to the area when conditions are moderate to extreme isn’t going over well with him.
“Often people think it’s OK to burn things when the forest fire index is low, but sometimes that’s how fires start,” he commented.
In addition to concerns about the water bomber, Barron wonders if there is enough ground crew to handle any fire.
Meanwhile, Barron says he will be attending meetings in the next week, and hopes to discuss this matter with the ministers involved. The Aurora will provide an update as information becomes available.

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