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


HRM Councilor looking at ways for communities to be better prepared for wildfire emergencies

By Joe Thomson Jun 8, 2023 | 9:23 AM

(Photo credit: Communications Nova Scotia).

It is only the start of fire season and already Nova Scotia has become familiar with their devastation. People are starting to ask what can be done to make us better prepared for the wildfire emergency.

The Halifax Regional Municipality has begun work to add more egress routes into the areas that were forced to evacuate from the fires. Many of which only had one way in or out, which created what Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Deputy Chief Dave Meldrum called chaos on that Sunday night when over 16,000 residents had to evacuate.

Pam Lovelace, Halifax Regional Councilor for the Tantallon/Hammonds Plains district, where a wildfire damaged or destroyed 151 homes, says she has been advocating for added egress routes out of the affected neighbourhoods for years since she was elected in 2020.

“I think rather than just having one counselor at regional council say that this is a problem, now we have all orders of government, and private landowners, recognizing why it is so important that we all work together to get these egress routes in place,” said Lovelace.

Halifax Regional Councilor for district 13, Pam Lovelace. (Source: Halifax Regional Municipality).

She said that we are lucky no one was seriously injured or killed while escaping the fires.

“People who evacuated were struggling in long lines and struggling to get through on Hammonds Plains Road, where fire was on both sides of the road…  it seemed like it was an eternity in order to actually get out of that wildfire area,” said Lovelace.

In addition to added egress routes Lovelace thinks the government must do more to inform the public about what to do in case of an evacuation. Not just in Halifax, but across Nova Scotia. She pointed to Cape Cod as an example of emergency preparedness. They have road signs posted throughout the community with evacuation route directions.

“I would like to see the province step up and create an evacuation plan for the entire province. Let’s keep in mind we have one route out of this province, other than the air and boats… We don’t have a clear understanding of how people are to evacuate these communities,” said Lovelace.

As we enter the recovery phase of the fires, more and more questions will be asked about what we did right and wrong and how we can be even better prepared for the next major emergency.

As Lovelace puts it:

“I’m focused on ensuring that this never happens again, and looking at ways that we, as a municipality, can have the tools that we need.”


Leave a Reply