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Residents return home after large brush fire

Halifax - Crews checked for hotspots and doused an area outside Halifax with water Friday after a large brush fire forced the evacuation of about 200 homes.

Deputy fire Chief Roy Hollett said the fire burned out of control for several hours due to high winds, but appears to have been contained by about 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

"The wind ... was what made the fire as serious and as large as it was,'' he said. "And it was back in the brush ... which can be a bit of an issue moving firefighting equipment through the area.''

No damage or injuries were reported, and residents were allowed to return to their homes in East Lawrencetown before 9 p.m.

Hollett said firefighters and officials with Natural Resources were wetting down the area about 20 kilometres east of Halifax and looking for flare-ups.

Three tankers, 10 firefighters from the Halifax Fire Department and staff with Natural Resources were on scene to check for flare-ups, he said.

He said they have imposed a total ban on open-air fires since the blaze fed off of large swaths of dead grass left over from a long winter.

"The ground is some areas is wet, but the debris on the surface is extremely dry,'' he said. "So any chance of eliminating an ignition source is being pre-emptive.''

In all, about 14 hectares of brush were consumed by the fire, which started in the Mineville area along Shoreline Drive near Candy Mountain Road.

Hollett said they are investigating the cause, but have identified a general area where they believe the fire started.

May 8, 2015
By The Canadian Press

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