Wildfire burning in Halifax NS suburbs

Thousands of homes under evacuation order as wildfire burns out of control in Tantallon area about 25 km northwest of Halifax. Several homes and buildings have been lost.

An emergency alert issued Sunday evening informed residents of a fire evacuation order. Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says that about 18,000 people are affected, and he implored residents not to return until given the official approval to do so.

"There's a lot of unburned fuel still in the areas that the fire went through that can reignite and can burn," explained Deputy Fire Chief Dave Meldrum.

According to Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, water bombers had arrived from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador after 8 p.m. Sunday night to help with the rapidly spreading wildfire. Two helicopters were heading back to the scene Monday morning, as well as provincial firefighting crews and a water bomber from Newfoundland and Labrador.

An unofficial report from earlier today indicated that the fire was affecting about 100 hectares, but officials believe it is larger now.

A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources told reporters that "none of that fire line is controlled and we did have a wind shift last night so it it's going to be another tough day,"

Nova Scotia Power indicated that, as of 7 a.m. Monday morning, more than 3,000 homes and businesses had lost their power due to fire in the areas of Upper Tantallon, Stillwater Lake and Yankeetown. A further 1,372 customers in the areas of Upper Hammonds Plains and Glen Arbour had lost their power because the outage was requested by authorities. 

The Halifax Regional Municipality declared a local state of emergency Sunday night in order to access additional supports, and a number of Comfort Centres have been opened.