Nova Scotia

Firefighters to be honoured in Shelburne County a year after the wildfire

The firefighters who responded to the largest wildfire in Nova Scotia history are being honoured at a banquet a year after the disaster.

The Shelburne County Strong Relief Benefit is being held on Saturday at the arena in Barrington as a thank you.

Paula Sutherland, one of the event organizers, had to leave her Clyde River home when the fire that started on May 26 spread through the area, eventually growing to more than 23,000 hectares.

Sutherland’s home was saved. She and many other people in the area wanted to show their appreciation for the efforts of the firefighters.

“We saw what they did and the unconditional commitment they gave every day,” Sutherland said. “We thought it was something to give back to them.”

As many as 650 firefighters and volunteers are expected to attend the private event. The firefighters will be presented with medals designed locally.

The Shelburne County wildfire medal has been designed by local artist James Stewart and features the Barrington tartan. (CBC)

Every firefighter will get one of the medals and each volunteer organization will also receive one.

In total, about 1,500 firefighters will receive a medal. They will be delivered to those who can’t attend the event.

Chief Darrell Locke of the Shelburne volunteer fire department said the gesture is appreciated.

“We’ll be uncomfortably happy because it is not ground we’re used to walking on, but it’s very humbling,” said Locke.

There will be a concert later Saturday at the nearby curling club. The public can purchase tickets. Any profits will go toward a student bursary program.

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