No more evacuation orders lifted, most Halifax-area residents will be back after wildfire – Halifax | PKBNEWS

It’s been nearly two weeks since mass evacuations forced thousands to flee Halifax-area neighborhoods due to a fast-spreading wildfire, but authorities have told most of the remaining evacuees that ‘it’s finally safe to go home.

An update was provided by the Halifax Regional Municipality on Friday saying people living in most of the Upper Tantallon and Upper Hammonds Plains area could return to their communities from 1 p.m., as the city ​​is entering its third phase of removing evacuation orders.

Shortly after the update, the province’s emergency alert system was activated to relay the message.

“Residents may return to their homes in previously evacuated areas, except for updated areas of significant impact,” the alert reads.

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The Halifax Regional Municipality, however, said residents who live in the three smaller areas where the most damage has been reported are still unable to return, but should be able to do so within the next 10 days. The municipality said it must first carry out an infrastructure review, install traffic controls and place fencing around the destroyed properties.

Some of the streets in the remaining evacuation zones include Wyndham Drive, Timberlane Terrace and Hummingbird Lane in the Tantallon area.

For those returning, Nova Scotia Power is expected to reconnect electricity to households on Friday.

“We remain committed to keeping the community safe and helping people find what has been lost,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said at a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, where he described the disaster as “the most devastating fire of our time”.

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“The past 10 days have been remarkably devastating to the entire community in a way we haven’t seen in a long time.”

Although a majority of the 16,400 evacuated residents were able to return to their homes throughout the week as firefighters continued to gain control of the 950-hectare blaze, about 4,100 were still waiting to return to their properties on Friday.

The wildfire, which broke out on May 28, destroyed about 200 buildings, including 151 houses, and forced more than 16,000 people to evacuate their homes.

In southwestern Nova Scotia, another emergency alert was issued Friday morning to let residents know that the municipalities of Shelburne and Barrington Lake will be lifting wildfire evacuation orders for the county. of Shelburne using an approach that will allow for a phased re-entry.

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The 235 square kilometer wildfire that started in Barrington Lake, which became the largest wildfire in the province’s history, is now considered “held” by authorities. The fire, which started on May 27, destroyed 60 homes and cabins, 150 structures and prompted the evacuation of at least 6,000 residents.

A release from Shelburne County on Friday morning said the first phase from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. will only allow those who have been contacted about damage or loss to their structures in the evacuation zone to view their property.

“At 12 p.m., the second phase of re-entry will begin with the roads of the municipalities of Shelburne and Barrington open to the public. the statement said.

Municipalities have encouraged people to refrain from visiting the area if they don’t have to go ‘out of necessity’ so owners can return home and firefighting efforts can continue in an effective way.

Residents are also being warned that some areas of the county are still without power, although emergency officials say power should be restored on Friday.

A provincial ban on open fires remains in effect. The fine for violation was increased to $25,000.

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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