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Forest fire forces evacuation of 1,000 people, closes highway in N.S.

Forest fire forces evacuation of 1,000 people, closes highway in N.S.
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Around 2 p.m., Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency tweeted that its crews, alongside Nova Scotia Lands and Forestry crews, are working on a brush fire near Highway 107 Exit 19 in close proximity to West Porters Lake Road. The portion of the highway has since been closed, with crews asking motorists to avoid the area.

Officials say at least eight Halifax Fire stations have responded; meanwhile, 15 personnel and three aircraft from Lands and Forestry have been deployed.

Jim Rudderham, Lands and Forestry acting manager for forest protection, says the fire is 40 hectares in size. As of around 4:00 p.m., he says the fire is "out of control."

Its very dry out. We had a beautiful week of sunny skies, and it dried the forest out, says Rudderham. The current conditions high temperatures, low humidity and some wind are prime conditions for fires to burn.

The fire has spread rapidly due to conditions such as high winds, and jumped the highway spreading on both sides of Highway 107.

Around 2:00 p.m., Environment Canada issued an air quality statement warning residents in Halifax Metro and Halifax County West of smoke in their area.

At around 4:30 p.m., Halifax Regional Municipality issued a release saying over 1,000 residents in the area are being evacuated including residents on Candy Mountain Road, who are asked to be prepared for evacuation.

The Porters Lake Community Centre on Highway 7 is open as an evacuation centre for residents who have been forced from their homes.
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