Homes evacuated in N.S. as crews battle brush fire

Some residents in the West Porters Lake area of Nova Scotia were asked to leave their homes Saturday as crews battle a large brush fire east of Halifax.

Halifax Fire district Chief Brad Connors said the department got a call about a brush fire around 12:20 p.m. between Highway 107 and West Porters Lake Road.

Connors said the wind had picked up speed after Halifax Fire arrived on scene to help provincial Lands and Forestry crews.

“It’s intensifying by the minute,” Connors said Saturday around 2 p.m. AT.

The fire was about an acre in size at that time, Connors said.

He said everything’s pretty dry right now so the blaze has a lot of fuel and it’s “spreading rapidly.” There are burn restrictions in place for the entire province.

An evacuation zone has been set up along West Porters Lake Road. Connors said anyone living on the three-kilometre stretch of road between civic number 141 down to Bellefontaine Road is being asked to leave.

Connors said RCMP will be going door to door this afternoon to alert residents.

The province has brought in a helicopter and also requested a fixed-wing aircraft, he said.

RCMP Sgt. Brian Cameron said Highway 107 was closed between Exit 18 and Exit 20 due to the fire.

He confirmed the RCMP has been asked to help with evacuations along West Porters Lake Road. The RCMP said anyone who needs to leave will be contacted directly.

Drivers are asked to use an alternate route.

Environment Canada put out a special air quality statement just after 2 p.m. local time for those in Halifax Metro and Halifax County West due to smoke in the area.

This is the second large fire crews had to fight in Nova Scotia on Saturday. 

A forest fire near Chester Grant, N.S., that erupted Friday evening covered about 27 hectares and razed at least two buildings.

Crews returned to the area at first light on Saturday to continue their work on the fire, which had slowed down to the point where there were no open flames and only hot spots were being put out.

More to come.