Canada

Light rain arrives in Nova Scotia as two major wildfires burn out of control

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HALIFAX — Scattered showers are moving across parts of Nova Scotia this morning, providing some relief to a province still struggling with its worst wildfire season on record.

The forecast is calling for steady rain tonight and into Saturday, but two major wildfires continue to burn out of control — one northwest of downtown Halifax and another larger fire in the southwestern corner of the province.

As of today, more that 21,000 people have been forced to leave their homes by evacuation orders — 16,000 in suburban Halifax and 6,700 in Shelburne County, which is about half of the municipality’s population.

By Thursday night, 50 per cent of the Halifax-area fire had been contained, but the Barrington Lake fire continued to grow, reaching 200 square kilometres — the largest recorded wildfire in the province’s history.

About 200 structures, including 151 homes, have been destroyed in the Halifax area, and another 50 homes and cottages have been consumed by the Barrington Lake fire, which started last Saturday.

On Thursday, a small fleet of water bombers took aim at the biggest fire amid soaring temperatures and tinder-dry conditions, and the provincial government said six more aircraft would be flying in from the United States today and over the weekend.

As well, an unspecified number of firefighters from the U.S. and Costa Rica were on their way.

In Ottawa, federal officials announced that more than 300 firefighters from the United States and South Africa are heading to Canada to battle what has become an unprecedented wildfire season. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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