1,100 evacuated due to massive Halifax brush fire
Saturday, May 2, 2009
"If we didn't have the rain, this fire may not be under control," Lloyd Currie, a spokesman for the Halifax Regional Fire Service said. "We're happy that we're having this rain. We just need more of it."
in 2003 produced downed trees and brush to fuel this year's fire which spread through the area at 36 metres (118 feet) per minute. On Thursday, the fire was settling down, but when high winds fanned the blaze, the fire surged out of control, creating flames 15 meters (49.2 ft) high which leapt from treetop to treetop.
Between 800 to 1,200 hectares (2,000 to 3,000 acres) of forest were destroyed, as were eight homes. Another ten homes were also damaged as high winds fanned the flames through the district. Police are investigating a possible case of arson during the brushfire when residents were evacuating.
Over 100 firefighters and five helicopters were out fighting the fire.
People were awakened from their sleep at three a.m. local time to report into the Red Cross evacuation centre. Residents reported driving through flames in their home driveways to escape the brush fire.
On Wednesday, firefighters thought a fire in the same district was under control. Currie feels that the Thursday wildfire was a separate fire distinct from the one started on Wednesday.
“We warned the people as fast as we could,” said Currie. Altogether about 1,100 persons were displaced because of the fire and about 500 homes were abandoned.
, Mayor of Halifax toured the devastation by air. “It's a shock. Where homes used to be they are no longer. It's surreal for me,” he said.
On Friday no flames were visible, but hot spots remained.
Halifax Regional Municipality, with a population of 282,924 in 2006, is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia.
- Oliver Moore. "Halifax fire appears under control More residents forced to flee brush fires burning on outskirts of the city, some in the middle of the night" — , May 1, 2009
- Michael Macdonald. "Halifax-area brush fire under control: officials" — , May 1, 2009
- "Arson suspected at one home in Halifax fires" — , May 1, 2009
- Kristen Lipscombe. "Rain helps firefighters gain upper hand" — , May 1, 2009