A wildfire is continuing to burn near West Pubnico in Yarmouth County, N.S., prompting health concerns related to smoke.
The fire is burning in an area between Highway 103 and Trunk 3 in the municipality of Argyle, which includes West Pubnico. (Officials originally said the fire was burning in East Pubnico, but later corrected themselves.)
The Department of Lands and Forestry said the fire covers an estimated 15 hectares and was about 30 per cent contained as of Friday by 4 p.m.
Crews from Lands and Forestry, one helicopter and one volunteer fire department remain on the scene. There are no evacuations underway.
Trunk 3 from Route 335 to Exit 32 of Highway 103 was closed early Friday but has since reopened. Drivers are still urged to be cautious in the area.
Highway 103 between exits 31 and 32 was closed late Thursday but has also reopened.
Janine Muise, the regional emergency management co-ordinator for the municipality, said the area was filled with thick smoke Friday morning.
"There were no flames," Muise said. "The houses weren't at risk but it was a heavy smoke that we were concerned about."
Muise said the municipality is notifying people in the area about the thick smoke and advising anyone with respiratory issues to leave the area.
She said the smoke was beginning to clear and a helicopter is in the area monitoring the scene.
The fire was causing smoke issues in the area Thursday as two Lands and Forestry helicopters were on scene, and air tankers from New Brunswick were also dropping water on the fire.
The area is under a burn restriction, and it's unclear how the fire started.
Dry weather creates optimal fire conditions
Kara McCurdy, the fire prevention officer with the Department of Lands and Forestry, said there were seven active wildfires in the province, all in western Nova Scotia, as of Friday morning.
Two are in Yarmouth County, three are in Lunenburg County, one is in Annapolis County and one is in Queens County. The fires are contained except in Yarmouth and Lunenburg counties.
McCurdy said 11 fires have burned about 24 hectares over the past three days.
"The past two months we've seen the province in a very, very high to extreme fire danger. There's been very little rain," McCurdy said.
McCurdy said she's concerned the province will not get as much rain as anticipated in the the wake of Hurricane Laura this weekend so an aircraft will be monitoring the western region.
"We're really trying to push the public to keep an eye on the burn restrictions and know that those are very important at this point," she said.
"Everything's really dry and anything could really set off a fire at this point."
3 more fires this afternoon
Just before 5 p.m., McCurdy told CBC's Mainstreet Halifax there are three new fires: one in Annapolis, one at the corner of Lunenburg and Kings County and one on an island in Ragged Lake in the Bayers Lake Business Park in Halifax.
"Those are in the Lake Alma and Saturday Lake areas and we have two helicopters, one on each and the New Brunswick air tac crew helped with the Saturday Lake fire, so those are the two newest starts," she said.
McCurdy said crews were still getting information about the Ragged Lake fire. She said Halifax Fire was investigating with a drone. While it's unclear what caused the fire on the island, McCurdy said it's possible it may have started from a lightning strike earlier in the week.
Fire crews from Waverly are looking to get to the island this evening. The other two fires are in remote areas and McCurdy said crews were working to get those ones out with aircraft. She said there were also ground crews working to get to the fire as well.
McCurdy said there are a total of nine active fires in Nova Scotia as of 5 p.m.. She said none of the fires are near homes and there were no evacuation orders in place.
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