Nova Scotia: Wildfires out of control near Halifax

Thick plumes of smoke filled the sky over Halifax on Sunday as an out-of-control blaze in a suburban community quickly spread, engulfing homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents.

“The fire in Tantallon is obviously out of control,” Halifax Fire District Chief Rob Hebb said in an interview, referring to a community 30 minutes’ drive northwest of the center. -city of Halifax.

Mr Hebb said no injuries were reported, but stressed the fire was moving rapidly east, driven by steady winds of 15-20km/h, with gusts reported at 40km /h.

“The plume is visible from all over the Halifax area,” he said, adding that wooded areas around the port city remain dry due to lack of rain and a heatwave on Sunday.

The province issued three emergency alerts as the fire rapidly grew between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time.

The first evacuation order was for residents of Westwood Hills in Tantallon. The second alert, issued shortly after 6 p.m., indicated that the fire had spread and that an evacuation order also concerned the Highland Park area in Hammonds Plains.

And just before 8 p.m., another emergency alert called for evacuations in Haliburton Hills, Glen Arbour, Pockwood Road, Lucasville Road and the White Hills area.

An official with the provincial Department of Natural Resources said local firefighters and two helicopters were on the scene, but the extent of the blaze remained unclear.

Mr. Hebb said Halifax-area firefighters were also trying to put out bushfires in the Lawrencetown and Fall River areas, and he said a call had come in for an oil leak. ammonia at a Bedford rink.

The fires in the Halifax area added to two out of control fires in other parts of the province.

An out-of-control wildfire in southwestern Nova Scotia nearly doubled in size in hours on Sunday as dry, hot and windy conditions quickly intensified the blaze.

Officials with the province’s Department of Natural Resources said the wildfire had burned about 1,354 hectares on Sunday afternoon, down from 775 hectares earlier in the day.

The Shelburne County Fire escaped containment on Saturday evening as high winds blew flames into a heavily wooded area around Lake Barrington, about an hour southeast of Yarmouth, a gate said in a statement. – ministry spokesperson, Patricia Jreige.

A growing team is on the ground, including 35 provincial firefighters and 50 volunteer firefighters. They are supported by two helicopters, six New Brunswick air tankers, heavy equipment and an incident management team, Jreige said.

She added that the dry, hot and windy weather makes their task more difficult.

Homes in the area were evacuated and at least one isolated cabin in the Barrington Lake area was destroyed by the flames. The condition of some other buildings was still unknown at the time of publishing.

Local police, Red Cross and ground search and rescue officials are assisting evacuees, many of whom are heading to the Barrington Municipal Building.

Some local roads were closed as the fire moved. A section of Route 103 was closed from exit 27 to exit 30 after the fire crossed the road between exits 28 and 29, Ms Jreige said.

Electricity may be cut off in some places to allow fire-fighting teams to work safely.

Nova Scotia has banned campfires in provincial parks at the western end of the province for the time being.

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