THE BEDFORD BASIN REPORT
I hope this finds you well. I think we’re all reeling a bit from seeing the wildfires so close to our community – many of us have family, friends, and colleagues who have been displaced by the Tantallon/Hammonds Plains wildfires and the fires in the Shelburne area too. Many of them will not have a home to return to.
Many of the local Fire Departments and Volunteer Fire Departments in Metro (including Bedford and CAD Bedford) have responded to the fires, and I know everyone is grateful for the long shifts and difficult work they have performed. Hearing Halifax Deputy Fire Chief David Meldrum talk about the tough job they have been doing – making the difficult choice to determine which buildings have a chance to survive and then battling to save them — reminded me of what a tough job our firefighters have to do above and beyond the act of battling fires. I’m also grateful for the assistance of other provinces, like Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick, that have stepped in to help in the fire response.
So many people have stepped up and leaned in during the past few days – people who have taken others into their homes, businesses and organizations that have taken in pets and larger animals, organized food and clothing, the organizations like the Red Cross that we count on to help us in times of distress. I want to thank everyone for their support of their neighbours and others. Many people want to volunteer and donate items, and there will be opportunities to do those very things in the coming days. This week has been eye-opening for us all, and the response has been awe-inspiring.
In the meantime, if you know of anyone who has been displaced, they can register on the Red Cross website. People can also donate to the recovery effort there too.
Because this situation is so fluid, it’s important we keep in touch. You can get the latest on the fire situation, local school updates, and other useful information further in this issue of my eNewsletter.
I know a lot of residents have had to make some tough decisions about what to take with them when evacuating. You might wish to think about what you’d take in the unlikely event you must evacuate suddenly. It’s important to discuss with your family what you would do and where you would meet up if you were separated and could not use your cell phones, for example.
We don’t know what this coming week will bring. Rain is not forecast for a few days, and temperatures are slated to rise this week. Our Councillor, Tim Outhit is providing updates from the city when they are released; I will share those and any information that comes from the province as well on Facebook and Instagram.
There will be time to ask questions about what happened in the days ahead. Right now, we need to focus on ensuring that people and animals are safe, as many buildings protected as possible, and our emergency personnel supported. Our family, friends, and neighbours are going to need our care in the difficult days ahead as they come to grips with the loss of their homes.
Kelly Regan, MLA for Bedford Basin