How Nova Scotians are showing heroism and kindness amid devastating wildfires

Click to play video: 'Heroes and helpers emerge during the Nova Scotia wildfire'
Heroes and helpers emerge during the Nova Scotia wildfire
Unlikely heroes have emerged during a wildfire that continues to burn in Nova Scotia. While residents try to help those who are fighting on the frontlines, one woman did her best to save 21 animals. Zack Power reports. – May 29, 2023

As a wildfire outside Halifax continues to burn out of control, stories of kindness and heroism are being revealed.

The forest fire in the Tantallon and Hammonds Plains areas of Nova Scotia began Sunday afternoon, and was estimated to be 788 hectares by Monday evening. Some 16,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes, while other homes have been destroyed and a local state of emergency was declared.

As the flames spread on Sunday, people scrambled to grab their belongings and evacuate the area. 

Lisa Parsons, the manager of Pampered Paws Inn, sprang into action during the fire and saved 18 dogs from the doggy daycare by running through the bushes.

The scratches on her legs tell the tale of what she and her helpers endured.

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The mission was not easy, and they only had one chance.

“The rule was you got to do it (in) one trip,” she said. “So we got 18 dogs, four people, and two cats safely in three cars.”

Parsons said most of the dogs have been returned to their owners. She has no idea whether the building is still standing but she’s thankful she was able to rescue the beloved pets.

“To phone you up and say, ‘I’ve saved myself, but I couldn’t save your dog,’ I couldn’t live with that. So I know I did everything I could,” she said.

In an update Monday evening, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency said more than 100 career and volunteer firefighters, as well as crews from New Brunswick, were battling the blaze.

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia wildfire: Video shows terrifying drive through heart of raging fire'
Nova Scotia wildfire: Video shows terrifying drive through heart of raging fire

Volunteers like Lindsey Moussi are doing their best to pitch in to support those firefighters.

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Moussi, who owns White Sails Bakery in Tantallon, spent Sunday night baking up a storm.

“My husband and I were sitting here last night after closing, and I was thinking about what we could do to help our community,” she said.

“We lost our daughter in October of last year, and without the support of our community, my husband and I wouldn’t have gotten through it. And it’s our time to give back.”

The result: hundreds of sandwiches and cookies, as well as mountains of fruit delivered to those on the front lines.

And those front-line crew will be busy in the days ahead.

Officials said the weather on Tuesday could lead to a “precarious situation” with extremely dry fuel in the forest and no rain in the forecast.

Click to play video: 'Stories of strength and kindness emerging from N.S. wildfire'
Stories of strength and kindness emerging from N.S. wildfire

— with files from Global News’ Skye Bryden-Blom and Zack Power


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