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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Via AP news wire

Rain brings much-needed relief to firefighters battling Halifax-area wildfires


Officials in Canada's Atlantic Coast province of Nova Scotia said Saturday the Halifax-area wildfire that forced thousands of residents from their homes over the past week is now considered largely contained because of rain.

David Steeves, a technician of forest resources with Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, said the fire is about 85% contained, sits at 9.5 square kilometers (4 miles) and is unlikely to grow due to a combination of firefighting efforts and long-awaited rain.

But he said a number of areas of concern remain and crews continue to closely monitor hot spots and the fire’s perimeter.

The blaze that broke out Sunday in the Halifax area raced through a number of subdivisions, consuming about 200 structures -- including 151 homes -- and forcing the evacuation of more than 16,000 people.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Deputy Fire Chief Dave Meldrum said rain has brought relief Saturday, but notes it also raises the risk that firefighters could be hurt from slips or falls and makes for a tough working day.

He said there were two reported injuries related to heat stress so far, and one firefighter bumped their head while moving equipment.

In Shelburne County, another wildfire, the largest recorded wildfire in the province’s history, is continuing to burn out of control.

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