Nova Scotia (Canada) Premier Tim Houston has announced a ban on all forest activities including hiking, camping, fishing, use of off-highway vehicles, forestry, hunting, and more as wildfires continue to cause extensive damage across the province.
As of Tuesday, the wildfires have affected more than 10,300 hectares in size, prompting concerns among officials.
Preliminary estimates indicate that approximately 200 homes or structures near Halifax have been damaged by the wildfire that began burning Sunday in the Upper Tantallon, N.S., area. In response to the ongoing firefighting efforts, Houston has prohibited all activity in the province’s woods. This ban covers hiking, camping, fishing, use of off-highway vehicles, forestry, hunting, and more.
Houston urged Nova Scotians to comply with the burn ban, noting six illegal burns reported on Monday evening.
As of Tuesday afternoon, wildfires in Nova Scotia cover 13,000 hectares of land, Scott Tingley, manager of forest protection with the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, expects that number to increase.
There are 13 active wildfires, eight of which started on Monday. Fires in Tantallon, Shelburne County, and Pubnico remain out of control. The largest fire, in Shelburne County, has surpassed 10,000 hectares in size, presenting a “very challenging situation” for firefighters.
Tingley acknowledged that these fires are beyond the province’s resource capacity, resulting in requests for assistance and resources from other provinces.
David Steeves, a forest resources technician with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, highlighted the high risk of fire spread due to dry, hot, and windy conditions.
As wildfires continue to devastate parts of Nova Scotia, it is crucial to be aware of fire safety measures and precautions when spending time outdoors.
Residents are urged to stay informed about the current fire risk in their area and be ready to evacuate if necessary.
According to the latest regulations, Nova Scotians are permitted to enjoy beaches, provincial and municipal parks. However, individuals are prohibited from accessing trail systems and camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds. These restrictions apply to both crown and private land. Private landowners may use their properties as they wish but are not allowed to host visitors in the wooded areas of their land.
Forestry mining and any commercial activity on crown land is also restricted. Forestry companies working on crown land can only work between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.
These restrictions are in place until at least June 25.