Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


(Photo credit: Communications Nova Scotia).

N.S. banning all activities in the woods to prevent more fires

By Joe Thomson May 30, 2023 | 12:06 PM

Nova Scotia is banning you from going into the woods or on trails to reduce the potential for more fires.

The ban covers hiking, fishing, camping, ATV’ing and comes as firefighters are drained after battling two large forest fires in Tantallon and Shelburne since Sunday.

People can still access beaches and provincial and municipal parks, but trail systems are off limits. Camping is allowed only in campgrounds.

The restrictions apply to Crown and private land

“We have to do what we can to make sure we don’t have any new fires,” said Premier Tim Houston.

The woods ban is in effect as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Houston is pleading with everyone to obey a universal burn ban in our province after six illegal burn calls were reported on Monday night.

The burn ban means no campfires of any kind, fireworks, or brush burning and is in place until June 25 or unless otherwise indicated.

Nova Scotia map shows burning restricted everywhere.

151 Homes lost in fires 

Source: HRM

Of the 151 destroyed homes, the majority are located in the orange area of significant impact. Evacuees from that area have been asked to register with 311 to receive information about the unfolding situation, and to help officials figure out whose homes were lost.

Anyone in the yellow zone must be ready to leave quickly and should pack enough for 72 hours. You can call 311 or check @hfxgov for more information on where you can find shelter.

CNS Photo

Additionally, HRM is asking all evacuees to register with 311 by filling out the online form. Staff will then follow up with residents who have registered when more information becomes available.

The following schools will be closed on Wednesday, May 31
  • Bay View High School
  • Tantallon Junior Elementary
  • Tantallon Senior Elementary
  • Five Bridges Junior High
  • St. Margaret’s Bay Elementary
  • Kingswood Elementary
  • Hammonds Plains Consolidated
  • Madeline Symonds Middle School
  • Charles P. Allen High School
  • Harry R. Hamilton Elementary
  • Millwood Elementary
  • Millwood High School
  • Sackville Heights Elementary
  • Sackville Heights Junior High

Risk of reburn and dangerous conditions 

Fire fighters in the Halifax area have been working tirelessly to control the blaze, but a dangerous possibility looms large.

Officials from the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables are concerned about what they call reburn.

“What reburn is, is when the fire goes through a specific area, it cures those fuels. So those fuels that haven’t been consumed the first time that that fire goes over, now are ready to burn,” said DNRR forestry technician Dave Steeves.

Steeves said that the fire yesterday did what he calls a ‘dirty burn’, meaning that it moved so quickly that it was jumping over large sections of land and fuel, not burning it. Now he says those unburnt fuels have been cured and dried out by the heat and should the fire return to them, they are ready to ignite.

forestry Technician Dave Steeves speaks to media members about the fire in Tantallon.

“The possibility of reburn today, if we do get this expected behavior switch could create a very dangerous environment. So, we are watching that incredibly close,” said Steeves.

The fire has been burning in the Tantallon and Upper Hammonds Plains area since Sunday afternoon.

More than 16,000 people have been evacuated from the area and it remains unclear when they will be able to return home.

Evacuation orders remain in place for the following communities and neighbourhoods:

Highland Park
Haliburton Hills
Westwood Hills
Glen Arbour
Pockwock Road
White Hills subdivision
Lucasville Road to Sackville Drive
Voyageur Way including St. George Boulevard (and side streets)
McCabe Lake
Indigo Shores

Comfort centres in HRM are located at:

  • Black Point and Area Community Centre| 8579 St Margarets Bay Road. The comfort centre opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until further notice.
  • Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre | 1583 Beaver Bank Road. The comfort centre opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until further notice.
  • Canada Games Centre | 26 Thomas Raddall Drive. The comfort centre is open until further notice. The Insurance Bureau of Canada will be on site, with seven major insurance companies and their representatives, to speak to those affected until 7pm Tuesday, May 30. More of these opportunities will be available in the coming days. 

Weather to remain hot and dry until early next week

According to meteorologist Ian Hubbard, the weather forecast for Nova Scotia poses significant challenges for firefighters. “We anticipate dry, windy conditions with elevated temperatures, which will, unfortunately, facilitate the spread of the wildfires,” Hubbard explained.

Hubbard says a high-pressure system currently lingering over Nova Scotia is the source of the expected high temperatures and the best chance for a break will come Friday.

“We are watching a system that could bring some precipitation and lower temperatures our way, particularly on the Atlantic coast but we are still tracking it’s trajectory and trying to determine how much of an impact it will have,”

Should it arrive as expected the system will bring cooler temperatures and help develop more pockets of precipitation over the weekend.

In addition to the challenging weather conditions, special air quality statements have been issued throughout the affected areas.

The smoke and ash from the wildfires have significantly reduced air quality, posing risks to the health and well-being of residents.

People with respiratory conditions and sensitivities are advised to take precautions and limit their exposure to the smoky conditions.

  • The Sackville Sports Stadium pool is closed on Tuesday, May 30 due to air quality issues resulting from outside smoke conditions

RCMP warn of scams

With multiple wildfires continuing to rage in Nova Scotia, the RCMP is asking people to remain vigilant of fraud.

Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay warned that scammers often take advantage of natural disasters to prey on people in vulnerable situations.

“As with any significant incidents, as before with the hurricanes, there could be scams that could be popping up here and there,” said Tremblay.

He reminded everyone to make sure they get their information from trusted sources, and to always be suspicious of strange phone calls.

Mental health professionals available to help

On Tuesday, a mobile mental health clinic will be set up at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax for those impacted by the wildfires.

The LifeWorks Crisis Support Line is open 24/7 and can be reached at 1-844-751-2133 for professional emotional support.

All residents who have been required to evacuate are reminded they must register with 311 (toll-free at 1.800.835.6428) as staff will follow up when more information becomes available.

With files from Steve MacArthur & Evan Taylor


Leave a Reply