Annapolis County recently experienced some of the most devastating forest fire activity in its history; fires in different areas of Annapolis County and neighbouring counties were burning at the same time. Some fires were fought and contained immediately, while others like the Seven Mile Lake fire took much longer to extinguish. All of this was accomplished in addition to responding to other emergency calls that occurred during this time.
We have witnessed the versatility, determination, fortitude, and can-do attitude of our volunteer firefighters, and those from the Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Over the past two weeks, they have spent countless hours – day and night – trying to bring forest fires under control. Many missed meals, sleep, work, and most importantly, time with their families. Their dedication is immeasurable; they are deeply committed to their service, the area they call home, and the people who live here.
Aircraft and pilots from neighbouring provinces readily came to our aid. Firefighters from other municipalities willingly back-filled for the stations at the fire front. All banded together to overcome this disaster, whether it be through efforts to extinguish the flames or by supporting those who were on the front line.
The outpouring of generosity has been overwhelming: businesses closed their doors to the public so they could prepare meals for fire fighters, individuals donated food and drink for them, and others gave freely of their time and talents to assist whenever and however they could.
On behalf of Municipal Council, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters who “stepped up” and gave so much of themselves in order to keep us safe and to protect our forests. Your determination and perseverance is remarkable. We are so very proud of you.
I know the dedicated men and women who fought these fires so valiantly would want me to remind everyone while the fires have been contained, much work remains to be done. The travel ban and restrictions on activities in wooded areas continue on the mainland. Please observe the restrictions and help to give the firefighters a well-deserved break.
Reginald C. Ritchie