Firefighters kept a close watch on the Spryfield area over the weekend in case of flare-ups from a blaze that blew through the community Thursday, burning down eight homes and devastating residents.
“Fire crews won’t leave the scene of a fire until they are sure there is no longer any threat of hot spots,” Natural Resources Department Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson said in a news release.
Rain falling over the Halifax region Friday helped crews tame the fire, along with five of the province’s helicopters and three water-bombers from New Brunswick.
“If we didn’t have the rain this fire may not be under control,” Halifax Regional Fire spokesman Lloyd Currie told reporters Friday afternoon inside the Captain William Spry Community Centre on Kidston Road, which served as a temporary shelter for those who have been evacuated.
Currie said it is believed the brush fire was sparked in the “general vicinity” of the McIntosh Run, but investigators hadn’t pinpointed a cause by yesterday.
He said the wind-whipped flames and thick clouds of smoke spread across an area between 800 and 1,200 hectares, with homes on Aarons Way and Fortress Drive, both off of Purcell’s Cove Road, suffering the most damage.
HRM Mayor Peter Kelly told the media Friday that provincial and city workers were all on the ball “once they knew the severity and speed of this.”
Kelly said one police officer suffered from smoke inhalation, but no other injuries have been reported. He said a dog and two cats were presumed dead.
“This was a wind-driven fire, fuelled by fine forest materials such as dried leaves and pine needles,” Paul Schnurr of the Natural Resources Department said in the release.
Joanne Lawlor of the Canadian Red Cross said professional crisis counsellors and trained volunteers were helping out displaced residents. The city says most people have now returned home.