Officials in the province of Nova Scotia claim that despite the use of “water, raw muscle power, and air power” by fire workers, catastrophic wildfires that have driven thousands of people from their homes will continue to spread.
Thirteen wildfires, including three that were deemed out of control, were blazing across more than 20,000 hectares of the Maritime province as of Wednesday. The largest city in the region, Halifax, continues to have an evacuation order for more than 18,000 residents.
The fire destroyed more than 200 buildings, most of which were residences. There have been no reported fatalities.
The fire near Tantallon has expanded to 837 hectares due to the hot, dry, and windy weather. This week, temperatures are predicted to reach more than 30C, providing no relief to already worn-out staff.
David Steeves of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources said, “Today could be a tough day.” “Today may prove to be hazardous for the people on the ground.”
Three helicopters and firefighters from the city, province, and Department of national defence have been used in addition to the exhausted firefighters’ use of “water, raw muscle power, and air power” to put out the fires since Sunday, according to Dave Meldrum, deputy chief of Halifax regional fire and emergency. The fires haven’t been put out despite being burning for four days.
Usually, the province estimates the entire area burned in the region in hundreds of hectares. The 13,000-hectare-largest fire ever recorded in Nova Scotia occurred in 1976.
During a press conference, Scott Tingley, manager of forest protection at Nova Scotia’s Department of natural resources, said, “We’ve got more fires than we have resources to support them.” He added that the province is placing safety and human life ahead of infrastructure.
Justin Trudeau, the prime minister, called the photos of families escaping their homes “heartbreaking” and promised federal aid.
Following the discovery of six illegal fires on Monday night, Tim Houston, the premier of Nova Scotia, ordered a ban on all outdoor recreation in the province’s forests on Tuesday.
This includes hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, using off-road vehicles, and logging.
“Please put an end to the fire. Stop throwing cigarette butts out the window of the car.
Simply said, quit. Fighting ongoing flames has severely depleted our resources at the moment, Houston said. This is completely absurd, given what is occurring in this province; it is astounding.
The natural resources minister for the province stated on Wednesday that the current circumstances in Nova Scotia are “unprecedented” and are predicted to get worse.
According to Tory Rushton, “everything lined up for a perfect storm, if you will.” “Our province has not been helped at all with this fire season by the dry winter, dry spring, perfect warm breeze, or warm weather in the spring,” said a meteorologist.
Although he emphasized that the size and speed of the fire made it impossible for officials to determine the exact extent of damage, he stated that the Barrington Lake fire had so far burned 40 structures.
Rains are predicted for the weekend, and officials are hoping that they will delay the major fires and give personnel a better chance of putting out the flames.