August 20, 2009
For immediate release
Dry Forest Conditions Cause Concerns
Environment, Energy & Forestry
“The forecast is for a continuation of this warm and dry weather over the next few days,” said Dan McAskill, Forest Fire Manager with the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry. “Most fires are caused by people burning brush and other debris. If these fires escape, they can endanger homes, properties and lives, and limit the ability of firefighters to respond to other emergencies.” He also noted the cost to suppress these fires can be tens of thousands of dollars and can result in civil suits and charges being laid.
From March 15 to December 1, people are required to have a burning permit before conducting any outdoor burning. This permit is only valid when used under the proper conditions. Normally when the Fire Weather Index is moderate or higher and wind speeds exceed 10 km/hr, the burning permit is no longer valid.
Mr. McAskill emphasized that it is the responsibility of the permit holder to check the forecast and have accurate Fire Weather Index information before initiating any fire. Burning permits are only valid for the materials specified on the permit. Garbage, old tires, plastics, treated lumber, and other such materials cannot be burned legally under the permit and must be disposed of through other legal methods. As well, most Island towns and cities restrict or prohibit outdoor burning of any material, so these permits do not allow the holder to violate local requirements.
Fire Weather Index information is available from any forest district office, online at www.gov.pe.ca/go/fwi, or by calling (902) 368-4800 after hours to hear an automated Fire Weather Index recording.