Nova Scotia fire season

November 16, 2023

Kaileen McCulloch

Kaileen McCulloch

Software Developer

Fire Number: Shelburne County
Discovery Date: May 27, 2023
Size: 24,732 ha
Status: Out
Fire Number: Upper Tantallon and Hammonds Plains
Discovery Date: May 29, 2023
Size: 856 ha
Status: Out

Nova Scotia is not typically where you expect to hear about wildfires and yet there was a state of emergency declaration and multiple evacuation orders issued throughout Nova Scotians this year. There were two major fires that together burnt nearly 26,000 hectares. In comparison to other provinces that number might seem low but the cost was high as these fires burnt approximately 200 houses and forced many other temporarily out of their homes.

The first fire broke out in Shelburne County on May 27, 2023. This fire grew to 24,742 hectares over the course of a week and damaged approximately 60 homes. There was an evacuation order issued that displaced 6,700 people which equates to nearly half the counties population.

The second major fire commenced two days later, on May 29th, 2023. It burned through 865 hectares of communities resulting in more than 150 damaged homes.

At the peak of the Nova Scotian wildfire season there were a total of 16 wildfires burning throughout the province. The unexpected surge of wildfires in Nova Scotia this year challenges preconceived notions about its susceptibility to such natural disasters.