Skip to main content

Shelburne wildfire evacuation rescinded, highway reopened

Nova Scotia has lifted its mandatory evacuation order for Shelburne County, in the area where the largest recorded wildfire in provincial history has been burning for about two weeks.

In a statement Friday, the province said the portion of Highway 103 that has been restricted is now open to all traffic, and residents in the area can return to their homes.

It was good news for the Miller family, who returned home for the first time in two weeks. A quick look behind their Clyde River, N.S., home shows how close the fire came to their home -- no more than 20 metres away.

“We know that all these homes along Clyde, they were saved by the local department, DNR. They did a fantastic job,” says Donnie Miller.

The Millers said they feel fortunate because they know others are returning to find something much different.

“We know there are many lost and we feel so bad for those people but very grateful for our home and we welcome anyone that doesn’t have a home, once we get back to ours we would welcome them to come and stay,” says Claudia Miller.

The fire near Barrington Lake, which covers 23,525 hectares of land, is being held — which means the fire is not moving, but remains out of control.

The blaze that forced more than 6,000 people from their homes destroyed 150 structures, including 60 houses and cottages.

The Lion’s Club in Barrington has been open for almost two weeks providing clothing, necessities, and meals to those who needed them.

President Tania Nickerson said even though evacuation orders have been lifted, volunteers will still be there for support.

“A lot of it was people coming in, a little bit of comfort, a shoulder to cry on, gather their thoughts,” says Nickerson.

Public Works Minister Kim Masland thanked emergency workers, heavy equipment operators and other crew for making it possible to allow residents to return to the area.

“I also want to thank local residents for their patience and understanding during this tremendously difficult time,” Masland said in a statement Friday.

The province is warning residents that because fire conditions are constantly changing, the highway may be closed again if need be.

Because the wildfire destroyed Geddes Bridge on Highway 309, the province is reminding drivers that access to Port Clyde Road south of the bridge is only available by taking Shore Road or Port Latour Road.  

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page Top Stories

Minimum wage rises in six provinces, but is it enough?

Amid a cost-of-living crisis driving up food bank visits and economic anxiety, the minimum wage increased in six provinces today – but both advocates and critics fear it may not be enough to tackle the overarching problem.

Stay Connected