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Centennial Lake fire 'greatly suppressed', area mayor says; evacuation order still in effect

The wildfire burning at Centennial Lake, about 150 km west of Ottawa, has been significantly reduced and is being held with a burnt area.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), an extreme fire risk remains in the region. An open air fire ban is in effect.

Greater Madawaska Mayor Rob Weir tells CTV News Ottawa that the fire has been "greatly suppressed" compared to Monday. The local fire crews went home Monday night and are returning Tuesday, but crews from the MNRF remained on scene overnight.

A statement from the municipality said that crews are holding the fire within the burnt area and that fire suppression efforts are focused on hot spots and preventative measures around the  perimeters of that burnt area.

However, water bombers have not been able to return, because of province-wide smoke. A ministry helicopter is on site, dropping water on hot spots and neighbouring fire departments are also helping. Volunteers from the public are not needed at this time, the municipality says.

"Later this afternoon, we're expecting water bombers to be able to attend the area and saturate the area where the burn has already taken place, plus the immediate perimeter," Weir told CTV News Ottawa. "Because of the wind we do have some flareups taking place, but we do have our firefighters on scene taking care of them."

Weir would not say the fire is under control, and the ministry's fire map also says it isn't, but he says it is containted.

"I can't say it's under control because it's a fire. Fires do change, they have their own dynamics," he says. "The wind can rapidly change. We're hoping that this rain that is in the forecast comes quickly, and that would help us as well."

The fire started Sunday afternoon, prompting an evacuation order for nearby residents and cottagers.

The municipality says the precautionary evacuation order is in effect until 12:30 p.m. Wednesday for the areas of Black Mountain Estate, Little Bay Lane, Airds Lake Road behind Snider's Tent and Trailer Park, and Snider's Tent and Trailer Park at 271 Airds Lake Rd. Additional evacuation orders are not expected to be required.

Larry Sachan lives on Black Mountain Road and said firefighters came to his home to say an evacuation was taking place.

"When it is your home there's that little bit more, you know what I mean, because it's all your personals, it's your whole life in one place," he says. "It's just hard to stay away when you just want to check, just to see."

There is no word yet on what caused the fire.

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Dylan Dyson. Top Stories

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