Nova Scotia Man Charged with Setting Massive Wildfire

( – A young man from Nova Scotia has been charged with starting the infamous 2023 Barrington Lake fire, the largest-ever wildfire in the history of the province. Dalton Clark Stewart, 22, of Villagedale will face three charges of violating Nova Scotia’s Forest Act. Stewart will be tried for allegedly starting the blaze, failing to prevent its spread, and leaving it unattended.

The charges come as another Canadian man from Quebec has pleaded guilty to 13 separate counts of arson for his role in starting fires over the summer of 2023. Brian Paré, 38, lit 14 fires that necessitated the evacuation of almost 500 homes. The largest of those fires burnt 873 hectares of Canadian forests. Paré spread the conspiracy theory that the fires were being set by the government online before he was identified as a suspect.

The Barrington Lake fire consumed 23,525 hectares and broke a fifty-year record for largest wildfire. It triggered a response from all of Nova Scotia’s fire departments and pushed its capacity to the limit. The air quality was severely degraded for days or weeks depending on the area and proximity to the fires. Officials said that the typical amount of land burnt during a normal season is only a few hundred hectares.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston asked for federal help to fight the fires. They requested military firefighters, vehicles and equipment, including helicopters and large quantities of foam extinguishing chemicals. The fire burned for a month before it was finally put out.

Firefighters worked tremendously hard to save homes in the outer suburbs of Halifax, the largest city in the area.

RCMP investigators recently concluded their examination of the Tantallon fire. That blaze took out almost 150 homes and forced nearly 20,000 people to evacuate. The RCMP said they couldn’t find any high quality evidence that the fire was started by arson or by accident. Investigators with the state said on January 18th that they were still looking into the matter, however.

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