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N.S. wildfires remind Maritimers of 2016 Fort McMurray fires

The Nova Scotia wildfires are reminding Maritimers of the 2016 fires in Fort McMurray, A.B.

One Glace Bay, N.S., native now living in Fort McMurray says she saw the images of wildfires burning across the Maritimes this week and they seem eerily familiar.

"My heart was with them when I heard what was going on. It took me back, anyway, to that time,” said Kortnie MacDougall.

MacDougall is referring to the April 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires that forced her and her husband Todd to evacuate, only to learn later that their home was gone.

"It was actually in the two days thereafter that the wind had shifted, and the fire made it to our area, so our entire neighbourhood was lost,” recalled MacDougall.

Chalet owners in Cape Breton’s Margaree Valley are offering HRM wildfire evacuee’s free accommodations.

"You're offering support and whatever you can do, even though sometimes that's minimal when you're at a distance but this was one small thing that we could do,” said Kody Fraser, owner and operator of Valley View Chalets.

At least one family has taken them up on the offer and was set to stay Tuesday night.

The chalet owners agree that this reminds them a lot of Fort McMurray seven years ago.

"Being a Cape Bretoner, of course we had close ties with fort McMurray, a lot of friends and family out there,” said Fraser. “Now we have a lot of friends and family in and around the HRM."

The MacDougall’s now live in a beautiful new home. They had a message of hope for those in Nova Scotia dealing with so much loss.

"It feels like the absolute worst thing that can happen to you in the moment,” said MacDougall. “Just emotions are running high, you're in survival mode, but you will come out on the other end."

For more Nova Scotia news, visit our dedicated provincial page.
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