HALIFAX, May 23: A forest fire in Porters Lake, N.S., on Saturday has resulted in over 1,000 residents being evacuated from their homes.
At around 12:20 p.m., Halifax Fire crews were called to a wildfire off of Highway 107 in Porters Lake, N.S., near West Porters Lake Road.
Around 2 p.m., Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency tweeted that its crews, alongside Nova Scotia Lands and Forestry crews, were working on a brush fire near Highway 107 Exit 19. The portion of the highway has since been closed, with crews asking motorists to avoid the area.
Officials say at least eight Halifax Fire stations responded; meanwhile, 15 personnel and three aircraft from Lands and Forestry were deployed.
Jim Rudderham, Lands and Forestry acting manager for forest protection, says the fire is 40 hectares in size. Around 4 p.m., he said the fire is “out of control.”
“It’s very dry out. We had a beautiful week of sunny skies, and it dried the forest out,” said Rudderham. “The current conditions – high temperatures, low humidity and some wind – are prime conditions for fires to burn.”
The fire spread rapidly due to conditions such as high winds, and jumped the highway – spreading on both sides of Highway 107.
Around 2 p.m., Environment Canada issued an air quality statement warning residents in Halifax Metro and Halifax County West of smoke in their area.
At around 4:30 p.m., Halifax Regional Municipality issued a release saying over 1,000 residents in the area are being evacuated – including residents on Candy Mountain Road, who are asked to be prepared for evacuation.
Around 5:30 p.m., fire officials gave an update on the situation, as well as their efforts.
Meanwhile, Highway 107 remains closed to traffic between Exit 18 and Exit 20.