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‘Extremely challenging’ Nova Scotia wildfire spreads to 240 hectares

Click to play video: 'Trail closures in effect due to wildfires' Trail closures in effect due to wildfires
WATCH ABOVE: With wildfires burning throughout Nova Scotia, the province has closed all access to crown land trails in an attempt to fight and prevent fires. Global’s Alexa MacLean reports – Aug 9, 2016

An out-of-control Nova Scotia wildfire grew about 100 hectares Monday evening to roughly 240 hectares, the province’s Natural Resources department said Tuesday as crews from several provinces worked to contain the stubborn blaze.

Department spokesman Jim Rudderham said crews had to be removed from the Seven Mile Lake area late Monday afternoon for their safety as water bombers kept dousing the blaze.

READ MORE: Travel, hiking, activities banned in N.S. wooded areas due to wildfire threat

“It’s been extremely challenging for our crews,” said Rudderham in a phone interview, adding that there was no threat to communities “yet.”

Rudderham said crews were hitting the blaze hard Tuesday morning ahead of another dry, sunny afternoon to hopefully prevent it from growing.

Crews fighting the Seven Mile Lake fire from the sky. The fire grew about 100 hectares overnight Monday. Government of Nova Scotia

He said there were 32 natural resources staff on scene, as well as 17 volunteer firefighters, four Parks Canada staff, tanker trucks and other heavy equipment, an air tanker from Newfoundland, three air tankers from New Brunswick and two helicopters.

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WATCH: Ground crews battling a wildfire near Seven Mile Lake in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, were pulled out of action for their safety on Monday, August 8, as extremely dry conditions aided the spread of the blaze. Water bombers continued to douse the flames from above, loading up with water from Kejimkujik Lake, as this video shows.
Click to play video: 'Airtanker collects water to fight Nova Scotia wildfire' Airtanker collects water to fight Nova Scotia wildfire
Airtanker collects water to fight Nova Scotia wildfire – Aug 9, 2016

Two more water bombers from Quebec were also expected to arrive Tuesday, he said.

WATCH: Firefighting helicopter loads up to battle wildfire in Nova Scotia

Click to play video: 'Firefighting helicopter loads up to battle wildfire in Nova Scotia' Firefighting helicopter loads up to battle wildfire in Nova Scotia
Firefighting helicopter loads up to battle wildfire in Nova Scotia – Aug 9, 2016

The province has restricted activity within forests such as hiking, camping and fishing in a bid to keep more bone-dry woods from going up in flames.

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READ MORE: Crews tame Maitland Bridge wildfire, larger fire at Seven Mile Lake still uncontrolled

The department says other smaller fires that were burning in Maitland Bridge, Greenfield, Collingwood and Perch Lake have all been contained.

Environment Canada is calling for showers and periods of rain Thursday evening through Monday. Rudderham said officials have been closely watching the weather and hope the forecast for later this week remains unchanged.

Crews continue to fight the now contained Maitland Bridge fire. Government of Nova Scotia

Air quality statements in effect

Air quality statements have been issued for counties surrounding the regions the fires are burning.

Environment Canada issued statements for Annapolis County, Kings, Lunenberg and Kings County.

“Smoke associated with a forest fire in the vicinity of Seven Mile Lake in western Nova Scotia is being carried southward over portions of Annapolis and Queens County [Tuesday],” the statement reads.
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Smoke is seem billowing from the Seven Mile Lake fire in this NASA satellite image. NASA Satellite Image

It goes onto say that expected conditions overnight will cause the wind to shift to bring the smoke into Lunenberg and Kings County on Wednesday.

“Higher pollution levels are expected to persist through Wednesday.”

‘Extremely challenging’ Nova Scotia wildfire spreads to 240 hectares - image
Environment Canada

With files from Heide Pearson, Global News. 

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