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Hot, Dry Weather Forces Closure of HRM Parks
(Thursday, August 9/2001)-- Halifax Regional Municipality announced today that it will close all of its wooded areas to the public, effective Friday at noon, until further notice.
Less than normal amounts of rainfall this summer, combined with higher than normal temperatures, led to the decision to close these areas.
Among the more popular parks affected are:
Point Pleasant Park (Halifax)
Sir Sanford Fleming Park (The Dingle)
Hemlock Ravine Park (Rockingham)
Shubie Park/Lake Charles Trail System (Dartmouth) *Shubie campground/ beach to remain open.
Admiral's Cove Park (Bedford)
Albro Lake/Spectacle Lake Trail System (Dartmouth)
Sandy Lake/ Jack's Lake (Bedford)
Western Common Watershed Lands (Prospect Road)
Mainland Commons (Clayton Park)
HRM Parks and Open Spaces staff, in conjunction with the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Service, have been monitoring the dry weather conditions. Both are concerned about the potential for outbreaks of fire in these wooded areas. Fire crews responded to eight brush or forest fires in wooded areas through the municipality on Wednesday.
A ban was imposed on open fires in fire/ BBQ pits in all HRM parks last week and the Department of Natural Resources announced restricted travel measures in all provincial parks and wooded areas yesterday.
Municipal playing fields, which are beginning to show the effects of a lack of moisture, will remain open to the public at this time. Staff will continue to monitor conditions at these sites. In the summer of 1997 and 1999, parks, wooded areas and many municipally-owned playing fields were closed to the public because of hot weather conditions and lack of rainfall.
Residents of HRM are urged not to enter any wooded area while the present dry weather conditions continue and homeowners whose property backs on a wooded area are reminded to exercise extreme caution when using lawnmowers, chainsaws or other potential sources of ignition.
(Peter Bigelow will be available for media interviews at 4:40 p.m. at City Hall)
Corporate Communications Officer
Manager, Parks and Open Spaces