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City moves into Phase 3 of wildfire recovery, hoping most evacuees can go home Friday

By Caitlin Snow Jun 8, 2023 | 3:47 PM

A helicopter responds to the wildfire in Tantallon by dropping water over the affected area (Photo credit: Communications Nova Scotia).

Thousands who were evacuated from the wildfires in Upper Tantallon and Hammonds plains should be able to go home tomorrow, as the city moves into Phase 3 of the recovery process.

Mayor Mike Savage says they will issue an alert when it happens, but not every street can be listed but there will be public service announcements on what streets are able to return. As for those deeply affected by the fires, he had some words of comfort.

“They are foremost in our mind, and we are going to set up a process and continue setting up processes to speak directly to those people and assist them in the recovery ahead,” Savage said.

Savage reminded residents it’s still early in the wildfire season and we need to be vigilant.

Director of Emergency Management, Erick Fleck said HRM is focused on getting homeowners back in their neighborhoods when it is safe to do so.  They are going to establish a community hub for residents to ask questions in groups or one on one.  There will be smoke kits available for those who go back into their homes tomorrow, to make a safer entrance, including portable water.  There will also be a community meeting for those whose homes were destroyed.  There they can sift through their possessions.

Fleck said they have to take things street by street and house by house to make sure residents aren’t going back into an unsafe environment.

For those in the area of the most significant impact, there is an estimated timeline of 10 days before they are allowed back in, but Fleck said there’s so many details to sift through.

The wildfire started May 28.  More than 16 thousand were evacuated with roughly 4100 still under evacuation orders and 151 homes damaged or destroyed.


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