April 13, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Forest-fire season in New Brunswick begins on Monday, April 19, and ends Sunday, Oct. 31.
Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles urges people to be careful and take precautions to make sure fires are not carelessly ignited.
"Forest fires needlessly threaten people, kill wildlife and destroy forests that provide livelihood and recreation for New Brunswickers," he said. "Let's do all we can to ensure a safe season."
The 24-hour toll-free Burning Permit Information line will operate throughout the fire season. To find out whether burning is permitted at a particular place and time, residents should call 1-866-458-8080. The line does not apply to areas inside cities and towns. For information on campfires and brushfires within cities and towns, contact your local municipality for any restrictions that may apply.
The department encourages mulching, composting or hauling debris to a local landfill as alternate methods of disposal. A written permit from the department is required for any fire larger than a category 1.
Grass fires are a major concern in early spring and can cause serious damage to agricultural and forested lands. Forest fire officials warn New Brunswickers not to light grass fires in fields because they can quickly spread to nearby forests. People who feel they must burn grass are required to submit a written burn plan to the department, have an inspection beforehand and then receive a written permit with departmental guidelines attached.
"Natural Resources firefighters work closely with their colleagues from municipal and volunteer fire departments across New Brunswick to combat wildfires," said Stiles. "When fires break out in municipalities and rural areas, the volunteer and municipal fire departments are often the first ones called out."
In 2009, 195 fires burned 251 hectares of forest land in New Brunswick. Forest land includes any land outside the boundaries of a city or town, not cultivated for agricultural purposes, on which trees, shrubs, plants or grass are growing. It also includes blueberry fields and peat bogs.
For further information, call 1-866-458-8080, go online, or visit any Department of Natural Resources regional or district office.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Matt Jones, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, email@example.com; Anne Bull Monteith, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, firstname.lastname@example.org.