Halifax-area wildfire inflicts devastating impact on community

Extensive damage caused to over 200 homes and structures

Halifax-area wildfire inflicts devastating impact on community

Catastrophe & Flood


Cathie O'Toole, Halifax's chief administrative officer, has commented on the devastating wildfire that swept through the northwest area of Halifax during a media briefing on Tuesday,

O'Toole noted the unpredictable nature of the fire, with some properties untouched while neighbouring ones have been lost.

She also highlighted the speed at which residents had to evacuate, emphasizing the need for support as the community begins the process of recovery.

The extent of damage and registration process

As of Monday night, approximately 200 homes or structures have been damaged in the suburban communities near Halifax, impacting numerous individuals who commute to the city for work.

Officials acknowledged the anxiety and anticipation of affected residents awaiting information about their properties, informing them that it would take time to compile accurate data and create a geographic map detailing the precise locations of damaged properties.

In the meantime, officials advised against attempting to return to the affected areas.

Evacuation measures and school closures

The Halifax Regional Municipality announced an evacuation zone affected by the local state of emergency.

Given the potential for the evacuation zone to change due to shifts in wind direction, residents were advised to remain prepared for short-notice evacuation.

Several schools in the area were closed for the day to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Comfort centres provide support

To access additional support, the Halifax Regional Municipality declared a local state of emergency.

Several comfort centres were established, including the Black Point and Area Community Centre, Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre, Canada Games Centre, John W. Lindsay YMCA, and Community YMCA. These centres offer various services and assistance to those affected by the wildfire.

Prevent further damage

David Steeves of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources spoke at a news briefing, emphasizing the ongoing efforts of fire crews to extinguish remaining fires and protect the community.

He stressed that their objective extended beyond firefighting; they were also working diligently to save the affected community.

To mitigate the risk posed by the wildfire, wooded areas of municipal parks, including Shubie Park, Point Pleasant Park, and Admiral Cove Park, will be closed starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

While non-wooded areas such as playgrounds and sports fields will remain open, these restrictions will be in place until June 25, or until conditions improve and allow for their lifting.

Evacuation considerations, fire safety precautions

Mayor Mike Savage revealed that officials were deliberating the possibility of reducing the evacuation area boundary to allow some displaced residents to return sooner.

However, this decision is contingent upon the behaviour of the wildfire, with no compromises being made if there is an increased risk of further spread.

Mayor Savage stressed that fire safety remains the primary concern, underscoring the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the situation.

He also urged individuals who wished to assist those affected by the fire to donate to the United Way Halifax, which has established a wildfire recovery appeal.

This appeal aims to provide vital support to the displaced residents and aid in their recovery process.

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