The Nova Scotia government issued the following news release yesterday (August 8, 2016) which goes into effect today at noon:
“As fire crews battle three wildfires in Nova Scotia the province is announcing measures to prevent additional fires.
Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines announced that beginning at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 9, all travel and activities within the woods is restricted. This includes hiking, camping, fishing, and the use of off-highway vehicles. People can still access beaches and provincial parks, but trail systems will be restricted.
“We recognize these restrictions pose an inconvenience for Nova Scotians and visitors, however, our top priority has to be safety,” said Mr. Hines. “Conditions in some regions of the province haven’t been this dry in 15 years. These restrictions are being put in place to reduce the risk of additional fires.”
These restrictions also apply to forestry, mining and any commercial activity on Crown land. Those who conduct commercial activity on Crown land will require permits which can be obtained at local Department of Natural Resources offices. Hunters and fishers will also require travel permits.
Mr. Hines thanked forestry companies who have moved work to nighttime hours, which is between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. He encourages all companies and private landowners to take this approach.
“Our industry recognizes this situation requires the co-operation of everyone who uses our province’s forests,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of Forest Nova Scotia. “We’ve asked our members to shift work to overnight to do our best to prevent any wildfires.”
Wildfires in Maitland Bridge, Annapolis Co. and Greenfield, Queens Co., are now totally contained and mapped at about 21 hectares and five hectares respectively.
The fire burning at Seven Mile Lake, Annapolis Co. has not been contained and has grown. All available resources, including planes from other provinces, continue to fight that fire, which is about 140 hectares.
“On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I’d like to thank our dedicated firefighters who are working around the clock to fight these fires,” said Mr. Hines.
The province will continue to provide updates, which can be found at www.novascotia.ca/nsfire.”
Unfortunately, this ban on activity includes the trail system in Truro’s hidden gem, Victoria Park. As of noon, access in the park is limited to only the lower area (pool, playground, and bandstand.)
With no rain in the forecast until the weekend, the risk of additional fires is just too great.