Nova Scotia

Dry trees and high winds feed forest fires in Nova Scotia

A rash of wildfires in mainland Nova Scotia kept firefighters busy over the long weekend. By mid-afternoon Monday, a dozen fires had broken out in woodlands around the province.

Helicopter crews help douse 2.5-hectare fire in Cook's Brook near Shubenacadie

Fire crews examine the site of a recent fire at Cook's Brook. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A rash of wildfires in mainland Nova Scotia kept firefighters busy over the long weekend.

By mid-afternoon Monday, a dozen fires were reported in woodlands around the province. It was a restricted burn day for the entire province, meaning burning is only permitted after 7 p.m. and before 8 a.m.  

"In the past couple of days it's been very dry with a lot of wind," said Kara McCurdy, the fire duty officer at the Department of Natural Resources provincial fire centre in Shubenacadie.

"Thursday and Friday there was a lot of humidity, so that dried things out pretty fast, and what we are concerned about is not so much that the ground is dry, but it's the trees that are dry."

Cook's Brook blaze

The biggest fire for fire crews to deal with was Sunday evening in Cook's Brook, 15 kilometres east of Shubenacadie. Helicopter crews helped firefighters put out a 2.5-hectare blaze that was spotted at 4:45 p.m. in an area where land was being cleared.

"We got a phone call from a local resident who lived down the road who could see a large plume of smoke off in the distance," said McCurdy.

"So we got our crews going and they were joined by the local fire department and our helicopters joined in."

The responding crews had a tough time battling the blaze because there was so much smoke in the air, making it unsafe for them.

"The conditions were dangerous for them to be in there so having the aerial attack with the helicopters was the best decision."

Monday was a restricted burn day in Nova Scotia. (Novascotia.ca/BurnSafe)