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A helicopter prepares to drop water on the Shelburne County wildfire on May 29, 2023 (Frankie Crowell Photo)

Fund to help those recovering from Shelburne County wildfire

By Kevin Northup May 8, 2024 | 10:32 AM

It’s been nearly a year since a devastating fire impacted Shelburne County.

Dozens of homes and structures were destroyed in the largest wildfire in our province’s history.

The ‘We Rise Again – Shelburne County’ fund was developed through local residents and the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.

The fund was initially created to help residents of Portapique after the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting.

Sam Brannen is one of the volunteers with the group, and got involved after she was evacuated from her home in Clyde River.

She says the fund was re-opened, and will help those still struggling.

“We had agreed that we would be ready to go when we hit $250,000. That’s what we have to disperse for this round. What will happen in the future will be based on future donations and need,” said Brannen.

Grants between $5,000 and $25,000 will be awarded, based on need with recovery and mental health.

Brannen says her home was spared, but she sees the devastation in the community.

“It burned in my backyard, I see it all over the community of Clyde River, you’re reminded everyday through the highway to Barrington. I was one of the lucky ones. We know that there are people struggling, and children are going through mental health struggles about that scary time when school was shut down, and they had to be evacuated.”

She says many people lost cottages and camps that weren’t covered under relief programs.

Brannen thanks the Shelburne County Youth Health and Support Association, who will be dispersing the funds to the successful applicants.

She also thanks all the community members and businesses who have donated.

Applications are open until May 17.