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'Basically, all hell is breaking loose': State of emergency issued in Halifax as wildfire continues

Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage declared a local state of emergency late Sunday evening as fire crews continue to battle a fire in Upper Tantallon.

The local state of emergency is set to be in effect for seven days, unless regional council lifts or extends the declaration.

The state of emergency will give the municipal government more power to respond to the wildfire.

Evacuation orders are in effect for residents in the following communities:

  • Highland Park
  • Haliburton Hills
  • Westwood Hills
  • Glen Arbour
  • Pockwock Road
  • White Hills subdivision
  • Lucasville Road all the way to Sackville Drive
  • Maplewood
  • Voyageur Way including St. George Boulevard (includes side streets)
  • McCabe Lake
  • Indigo Shores

RCMP officers are on the scene to assist with evacuations. The evacuation route is Winslow Drive to Hammonds Plains Road.

The evacuation orders will not be lifted until at least Monday.


“We have firefighters working right now in the Westwood subdivision area. A lot of firefighters in another sector of this fire on Hammonds Plans and Pockwock Road, near the Yankeetown Road subdivision, “said Halifax Fire Deputy Chief Dave Meldrum on Sunday evening.

Meldrum said there will be more information to come about the exact number of people evacuated and properties damaged.

“In the coming days, we will begin to understand how many people have been evacuated and how large the geographic area this fire will burn,” says Meldrum. “Our firefighters are going to be here for days and days and this fire is knocked down. There is still a lot of work to be done to dig out any hidden fire that’s in the ground.”

Halifax Fire district chief Rob Hebb told The Canadian Press the fire was “jumping roads,” affecting multiple structures.

"The fire in Tantallon is obviously very out of control," said Hebb.

Hebb added the fire was quickly moving, driven by steady winds at 15 to 20 kilometres per hour, with gusts reported at 40 km/h.

"It's overrunning our crews and most of them are pulling back," he said, adding wooded areas around the port city remain tinder dry due to a lack of rain. "The plume is visible from everywhere in the Halifax region."

Hebb said Halifax region firefighters were also trying to douse brush fires in the Lawrencetown and Fall River areas, and he said a call had just come in for an ammonia leak at a rink in Bedford.

"Basically, all hell is breaking loose," he said.

The Upper Tantallon area fire is seen in this May 28, 2023, photo. (Sarah Plowman/CTV Atlantic)


The Halifax Regional Municipality has comfort centres opened to assist residents impacted by the fires in the Tantallon area:

  • Black Point and Area Community Centre: 8579 St. Margarets Bay Rd. The comfort centre is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Canada Games Centre: 26 Thomas Raddall Dr. The comfort centre is open until further notice.
  • Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre: 1583 Beaver Bank Rd. The comfort centre is open beginning at 9 p.m. and will be open until further notice.


The following schools will be closed Monday due to the wildfires and evacuations:

  • Bay View High
  • Hammonds Plains Consolidated
  • Kingswood Elementary
  • Tantallon Junior Elementary
  • Tantallon Senior Elementary
  • Madeline Symonds Middle School

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories


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