Shelburne County wildfire remains out of control, further evacuation recommended
A wildfire in Nova Scotia’s Shelburne County is still out of control and prompting recommended evacuations.
The fire which started on Sunday was covering roughly 17,440 hectares Wednesday evening.
Early estimates say roughly 50 houses have been destroyed. It’s also forced officials to close all public schools in the area.
A Wednesday evening emergency alert advised residents of the recommended evacuation for the following areas:
- 243 Sandy Point Road to 650 Sandy Point Road including Roseway Park
- School Street
- Commission Street
- Harbourside Landing
- Mayflower Road (the old Boys School)
- Shelburne Diesel
- Shelburne Ship Repair
- Bill Harris Transport
- Coastal Tails
- Adamant Drive
- The Lake Road up to Civic Address 1536
Nova Scotia Health has evacuated and closed Roseway Hospital in Shelburne due to the threat of encroaching wildfires.
Fifteen inpatients are being transferred to South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridegwater and Fisherman's Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg. Nova Scotia Health says some patients were transferred to sites inside and outside the region, while others were discharged.
It says planning for this possibility has been underway for several days.
Anyone with urgent medical needs should still call 911.
For general health advice and information, Nova Scotia Health says residents can call 811.
More than 2,000 residents have already been told to evacuate their homes.
Laura Cameron is one of them.
“When you see pictures, to some people that’s the spectacle of the biggest fire. This is a historic event. To us, it’s our homes,” said Cameron. “I say to people when you look at those pictures, it’s our houses."
By late Tuesday afternoon, fire had broken out in Sandy Point, about 22 kilometres northeast of where it started. Officials say it's continuing to travel that way.
More than 70 Department of Natural Resources and Renewables firefighters and staff were on the scene Wednesday evening. About 40 volunteers and municipal firefighters were also there.
Cameron’s husband is a volunteer.
“They’re giving 200 per cent,” said Cameron. “They’ve been on this for days and this is small fire departments. They’re all helping each other.”
Aircraft on-site include one helicopter, two water bombers from Newfoundland and Labrador and eight airplanes from New Brunswick that disperse a mix of water and fire retardant, the province says.
When asked if Nova Scotia needs its own fleet of bombers, Houston said, “We have the helicopters who can drop. We have access to them, so we’ll look at doing what we can to support the firefighters in this province.”
Evacuee Samantha Brannen says more help is needed.
“They’re really looking for more resources. On the ground, in the air, people seem to be frustrated.” said Brannen. “None of us are firefighting experts… experts but it seems we have been in need of some more resources here.”
A shift in wind direction Tuesday pushed smoke towards the town of Shelburne, about 35 kilometres northwest, and forced residents of a seniors home to move. About 65 seniors and their caregivers are now staying at Acadia University.
Nova Scotia has seen more than 180 wildfires in 2023.
For more Nova Scotia news, visit our dedicated provincial page.
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