County sees wildland fires days before provincial burn restrictions in effect


A number of brush and woods fires broke out in Lunenburg County during sunny, and windy, days leading up to provincial burn restrictions coming into effect.

Emergency crews in Hubbards quickly contained a small shed and brush fire March 14 in Mill Cove, while someone burning leaves in Dayspring the same afternoon had the fire get away from them before first responders extinguished the flames.

A couple days earlier, a small burn in Lower Northfield got into the woods, prompting a call to 911, as did a brush fire in Northwest Cove. Both alarms required extra help from neighbouring volunteer fire departments. Another wildland fire incident in the southwestern end of the county March 12 also required additional personnel.

The risk of serious wildland fires spike with spring-like weather, and warm and dry conditions. Nova Scotia;s Department of Lands and Forestry announced restrictions started March 15 and asked citizens who want to know whether burning is permitted to check their respective municipal bylaws and follow the rules.

First responders trained in wildfire suppression know such incidents take on unique characteristics compared to structure fires. The unconfined flames are greatly influenced by the natural fuel of trees, shrubs or moss, the dry weather conditions and type of terrain. Once such fires ignite, they can spread quickly. Firefighters dealt with nearly 200 wildland fires in 2020, Lands and Forestry said in a statement.

The restrictions set out by the province, which narrow down when, where, and if, burning can take place, are in effect until October 15. Wind, rain, temperature and humidity data is collected each day by the province to calculate fire risk, and make a determination on burning when it comes to domestic brush burning and campfires on non-licensed campground or campsite areas.

The burning of larger brush piles, or clearing of agricultural land, require a special permit.

To access frequently asked questions about burning, check out: https://novascotia.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/burnsafe/Q-As.asp on the internet.

The BurnSafe map, which colour codes any restrictions, can be found at: https://novascotia.ca/burnsafe on the internet.

Restrictions are also available by recorded message by dialling 1-855-564-2876 (BURN) toll-free.

In an emergency, wildfires can be reported by calling 1-800-565-2224 or via 911.

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