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Donations for the free store at the Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena in Barrington (Acadia News Photo)

Barrington shows heart, resilience through wildfire devastation

By Kevin Northup Jun 8, 2023 | 5:55 PM

Lives were turned upside down by the Barrington Lake wildfire.

Over 150 structures were damaged or destroyed in the largest fire in Nova Scotia’s history.

Josh Atwood is a fire captain with the Barrington/Port Latour department.

He’s been helping to fight the fire, even though he’s still evacuated from his home in Clyde River.

“All around my property has been scorched, but it is what it is. I signed up to do this. When the fire came through, we just had to see what happened,” said Atwood.

A board at the Barrington/Port Latour Volunteer Fire Department has been signed by dozens of firefighters who have worked on the Barrington Lake wildfire. It also includes a signature from Premier Tim Houston (Acadia News Photo)

Floyd Watson of Upper Port Latour is back in his home, he was in Halifax when the evacuation order came down for that area.

He says he’s waiting for his power to be re-connected.

“Hopefully we can get somewhat back to normal soon. Lost a lot of food in my freezer and fridge, will have to go buy that when the power comes back on,” said Watson.

Nova Scotia Power has said power will be restored in areas still out when deemed safe to do so.

Barrington Warden Eddie Nickerson talked of his community, and thanks all the first responders for keeping them safe.

He knows it’s been a long wait for those wanting to return to their homes.

“It’s been a tough two weeks. Thanks to everyone for being patient. It’s something we never want to see it again, it’s definitely upset the community. Hopefully we’re on the mend now,” said Nickerson.

Information packages have been sent out for people returning to their properties.

Resiliency can’t be measured:

Barrington residents are coming together in these trying times.

Municipal councillor Shaun Hatfield has been sharing stories on his Facebook page about the resiliency of those evacuated from the wildfire.

He says he’s still finding joy in people who have lost everything.

“There are certain things about human beings that flames can’t touch. The size of this fire could never take out human gratitude,” said Hatfield.

The free store at Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena for wildfire evacuees in Barrington (Acadia News Photo)

Volunteers happy to help:

To find generosity, look no further than the Sandy Wickens Memorial Arena.

A free store with clothing items, food, water and more has been set-up from 10-6 each day.

Coordinator Josie Hatfield says the volunteers have been amazing.

“If you need something, they will get it with the snap of a finger, no questions asked. We’ve had so many volunteers, even if people are giving an hour of their time. It’s been amazing,” said Hatfield.

The Red Cross has now moved out of the building, but the store will be there as long as it’s needed.

Thousands of overflow items are also at the Barrington Curling Club

Overflow Items at the Barrington Curling Club (Acadia News Photo)

Hot meals are now being served through takeout at the Barrington Lions Hall.

Whether you’re a firefighter or have been evacuated from your home, the volunteers are ready.

President Tanya Nickerson says they’ve been doing whatever is needed the last two weeks.

“People needed to find comfort, have a cry and a shoulder to lean on. Most of the volunteers here are evacuees, and still have showed up everyday to serve,” said Nickerson.

They have served hundreds of meals, and had about 80 people for supper Wednesday night.

Pulled pork sandwiches were on the menu at the Barrington Lions Hall Thursday (Acadia News Photo)


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