Nova Scotians who have been severely impacted by recent wildfires will receive financial support from the Province.
Premier Tim Houston announced today, May 29, that the Province will provide $500 to every household required to evacuate because of recent fires in Halifax Regional Municipality and Shelburne County. The funding will be administered through the Canadian Red Cross. Further details on eligibility and how residents can register will be available Tuesday, May 30.
“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by these fires. We know you are experiencing uncertainty and distress. We see that and want to try to ease a small portion of the financial stress,” said Premier Houston. “This funding can help with urgent needs such as food and personal care items while people are displaced.”
Volunteer firefighters will also receive support. The province will now pay the mileage for volunteer firefighters who need to travel to another community to fight fires, including wildfires. Volunteer fire departments can submit their invoices to the provincial Emergency Management Office (EMO).
“Our firefighters are saving lives, homes and communities. More support will make it easier for them to be the heroes they are,” said Premier Houston. “Volunteer firefighters shouldn’t have to pay their own mileage to go from their house to a call in another community, and when departments send trucks and gear around the province, they shouldn’t have to dip into their community resources to do so. We are fixing this going forward.”
The Province is also declaring a provincewide burn ban because of the seriousness of the current fires. The ban will remain in place until June 25 unless the Province determines it can be lifted sooner. Anyone who contravenes the ban can be subject to prosecution under the Forest Act.
“Our fire crews have the experience and expertise to fight these fires and they’re working tirelessly to get them under control. We appreciate the air support from our neighbouring provinces and co-operation with municipal and volunteer crews. Together, we’re aiming to save people’s homes and other structures. I ask all Nova Scotians to help us by following the burn ban to help prevent more fires.”
– Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables
— the funding for households is for those who were told to evacuate by a municipality, police, fire officials or local emergency management office
— the burn ban applies in the woods and within 305 metres (1,000 feet) of woods; it also applies to provincial parks, private campgrounds and things like backyard campfires and brush burning
— firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables and municipal and volunteer fire departments are managing both fires; the Department of National Defence also has firefighters in the Tantallon area
— there are currently two Natural Resources and Renewables helicopters and one water bomber from Newfoundland and Labrador helping at each of the two fires
— people should stay away from the fire areas; they should not use drones in these areas
Wildfire updates: https://twitter.com/NS_DNRR
Emergency alerts and information: https://novascotia.ca/alerts/
Tantallon fire evacuation information: https://www.halifax.ca/ and @hfxgov on social media
Barrington Lake fire evacuation information: https://www.facebook.com/shelburneemo