For residents around Porters Lake, it must have felt like déjà vu.
Two years plus two days after a massive fire in the area of Porters Lake and Lake Echo forced the evacuation of 5,000 people and consumed almost 2,000 hectares of land, yet another brush fire took shape in the region Tuesday afternoon.
But unlike the 2008 fire, this out-of-control blaze in the Middle Porters Lake area was under control within several hours.
Still, officials with the province’s Department of Natural Resources realize Tuesday’s fire has shaken the community again and are working to put all the residents’ minds at ease.
“We’re working very diligently with HRM to make these people feel comfortable in their homes again,” said Dave Steeves, technician, forest resources, for DNR. “This fire, for instance, we are going to be on this until we are sure it has been extinguished. We don’t set a time frame for that because when it comes to fire, the situation can change minute by minute.
“We’re going to be here until we are no longer needed to be here.”
About 30 firefighters with DNR and Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency were on scene yesterday, doing what Steeves called “mop-up” work. He said the fire was contained and controlled, but crews were looking for hot spots and other hazards.
Thirty-four homes on the 1000 block of West Porters Lake Road were evacuated for precautionary reasons from the blaze contained to about a single hectare near Old Minesville Road.
No homes were damaged, and residents were allowed back into their homes by 9 p.m. Tuesday.
“With the weather conditions being what they were yesterday, it could have been worse,” Steeves conceded. “It doesn’t take much to make the situation worse when your winds (are) as high and erratic as they were yesterday.”
The breakout of Tuesday’s fire was slightly southeast from the location of its predecessor two years ago.
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