Nova Scotia

Forest fires cause travel delays in western Nova Scotia

Crews continue to fight three forest fires in Annapolis County and Queens County.

Trunk 8 closed between Kejimkujik National Park and Virginia Road

Firefighters refill a truck at a pond in Maitland Bridge, Annapolis County on Saturday. (Shaina Luck)

Crews continue to fight three forest fires in western Nova Scotia, and shut down Trunk 8 for a second day on Sunday afternoon.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure tweeted around 2:30 p.m. that the road would be shut down between Kejimkujik National Park and Virginia Road, which is near the Milford House wilderness resort. 

A fire near Seven Mile Lake, Annapolis County, has burned about 90 hectares and is still considered out of control, but firefighters are hopeful they are starting to contain it. 

"They're starting to kind of hold that fire, so that's good news on that one," Jim Rudderham of the province's Department of Natural Resources said Sunday morning.  

"Most often fires will burn in an area where you can get around it," he said. "This fire is fingers and splits and so within the fire there's areas that did not burn." 

Poor visibility

Rudderham said areas that did not burn initially sometimes catch fire later, making it hard to organize to fight it. 

On Saturday, crews closed Highway 8 due to heavy smoke and water bombers moving overhead. 

"At points in time there was so much smoke that you had about a metre visibility, so you couldn't have the road open for that reason at all," Rudderham said. 

Saturday evening the highway re-opened. For part of the day Sunday the road was restricted to one lane, with a vehicle leading cars through. The Department of Transportation warned motorists to expect long delays throughout the day.

Trunk 8 was closed for most of Saturday, but re-opened in the evening. Should conditions worsen, crews might make the call to close it again Sunday. (Shaina Luck)

Working to contain 2 others

Crews are also fighting a fire in Maitland Bridge which has covered about 24 hectares of land. That fire is about 70 per cent contained and crews hope to have it 100 per cent contained by the end of Sunday. 

A third fire in Greenfield, Queens County is 100 per cent contained and crews are working to put it out fully. 

About 60 firefighters, DNR staff, and Parks Canada staff are working on the fires. Six water bombers from New Brunswick and one water bomber from Newfoundland have been called in, along with DNR helicopters. 

No homes or businesses are considered in danger, and Kejimkujik National Park remains open for camping.