Thousands of Nova Scotians under evacuation order as wildfire burns out of control
May 29, 2023 By CFI Staff
A Halifax-area wildfire estimated to cover 788 hectares is out of control and is likely to spread further as winds are expected to gust up to 40 km/h throughout today, putting thousands of residences under mandatory evacuation order.
Crews on scene include 32 from the Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR), 170 from Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and seven from the Department of National Defence. Around 30 HRM fire trucks, two DNRR helicopters and one water bomber from Newfoundland and Labrador also on scene, said a statement from DNRR.
The evacuation order covers the Tantallon and Hammonds Plains areas, some 25 km from Halifax. Residents are not allowed to return to their homes until they are advised that it is safe to do so by municipal authorities.
Support for those affected
Those who have been severely impacted by recent wildfires will receive financial support from the province.
Premier Tim Houston announced today, May 29, that the province will provide $500 to every household required to evacuate because of recent fires in Halifax Regional Municipality and Shelburne County. The funding will be administered through the Canadian Red Cross. Further details on eligibility and how residents can register will be available Tuesday, May 30.
“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by these fires. We know you are experiencing uncertainty and distress. We see that and want to try to ease a small portion of the financial stress,” said Premier Houston. “This funding can help with urgent needs such as food and personal care items while people are displaced.”
Volunteer firefighters will also receive support. The province will now pay the mileage for volunteer firefighters who need to travel to another community to fight fires, including wildfires. Volunteer fire departments can submit their invoices to the provincial Emergency Management Office (EMO).
“Our firefighters are saving lives, homes and communities. More support will make it easier for them to be the heroes they are,” said Premier Houston. “Volunteer firefighters shouldn’t have to pay their own mileage to go from their house to a call in another community, and when departments send trucks and gear around the province, they shouldn’t have to dip into their community resources to do so. We are fixing this going forward.”
Nova Scotia is also declaring a province-wide burn ban because of the seriousness of the current fires. The ban will remain in place until June 25 unless the Province determines it can be lifted sooner. Anyone who contravenes the ban can be subject to prosecution under the Forest Act.
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