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Group photo courtesy of 5th Canadian Division, Public Affairs. (Communications NS)

Military helping crews at Barrington Lake wildfire

By Kevin Northup Jun 13, 2023 | 1:43 PM

Military assistance in the fight against the Shelburne County wildfire.

The Joint Task Force Atlantic Immediate Response Unit arrived over the weekend.

Soldiers have been hiking deep into the woods to extinguish hot spots.

Major David von Neppel says unit members are able to relieve DNRR firefighters.

“They are only able to work for 14 days before they have to take a break. As they time out, our military personnel, turned firefighters, are able to fill that gap,” said von Neppel.

He says they’ve been allocated to some of the most challenging terrain.

von Neppel says he’s seen the size and scope of the damage from the air.

“This was a large forest fire, there is a lot of damage, most notably to homes and private property.”

He notes they’ve had limited interactions with the public, and they’ve been overwhelmingly positive.

“The soldiers here are proud to help their fellow Canadians. Normally we’re oversees, but it gives us a warm feeling at the bottom of our hearts to be able to give some peace of mind to the situation for some residents.”

The wildfire is ‘being held,’ but is not under control.

Helicopters are surveying the area and identifying hot spots.

Firefighters include 55 from the DNRR, 5 from Prince Edward Island, 14 from Newfoundland and Labrador, 17 from the United States and 41 from DND; volunteer and municipal firefighters are on call. Air resources include two helicopters.


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