Natural Resources asks people to burn safe with warm weather in the forecast

Officials are preparing the public to be cautious early in wildfire season after record-breaking blazes in 2023.

Warm, dry weather conditions are spreading across the province, Jim Rudderham, director of fleet and forest protection for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Shubenacadie, said. 

“We haven’t had any significant rain in a little bit of time, and the weather is getting warmer, and it’s windy today, so the surface dries out very quickly,” he told CityNews Halifax in an interview.

DNR sent out a reminder to Nova Scotians to check the BurnSafe map before lighting a fire. The map is updated daily at 2:00 p.m. and uses real-time data from weather stations across the province.

If a county is green burning is allowed after 2:00 p.m., if it’s yellow; after 7:00 p.m. and red means no burning allowed that day.

(Photo from Nova Scotia BurnSafe Map)

Between March 15 and Oct. 15 wildfire season — burning is not allowed between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the press release reads.

Rudderham said people might think it’s too early to talk of wildfires in N.S. but the weather can change quickly, which is why he said it’s important to check the burn map.

“It can happen very quickly and without people really realizing just how dry it is if they’re not paying attention,” he said.

Last year Canada had a record-breaking wildfire season due to a lack of rain and dry conditions during spring and summer.

Rudderham said in April and May 2023 Nova Scotia had a below-record amount of rainfall which fueled drought conditions for fires.

“It was just very, very dry is what happened last year. We’re not there yet this year,” he said.

Rudderham said before burning people should check the burn restrictions, keep the fire at an “appropriate size” and ensure there’s a way to douse the flames. 

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