It appears a burn ban in place across Nova Scotia will remain in effect for the near future.
According to a spokesperson from the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, drought-like conditions over the past two weeks have left the forest floor extremely dry. Wildfire Prevention Officer Kara McCurdy says due to a combination of high temperatures and wind and low humidity the smallest spark could set off a forest fire.
“Don’t have any fires period, whether it be campfire or brush burning. Being careful where you place anything hot. Like, if you’re welding, don’t weld in dry vegetation. If you’re running an all-terrain vehicle that you make sure to clear the exhaust off frequently because stuff accumulates around that and can get hot and drop,” said McCurdy. “Even camping, if you’re walking in the woods don’t discard any cigarettes, don’t play with matches or lighters.”
Environment Canada has issued an extreme heat warning for Nova Scotia and is forecasting temperatures into the high 20s until next week. There is a chance of showers over that time, however, McCurdy says they likely won’t be enough to lower the fire hazard.
“But it’s not enough to really impact wetting the fuels down in the forest,” We’ll probably leave the ban in place until we get significant rain, which is a continued amount of rain of 20mm plus.
McCurdy says a few days of steady rain is key to preventing forest fires.
“A lot of the rain that comes from thunder cells will just quickly run off,” said McCurdy. “The ground is so hard now from being dry for so long that it’s just going to drain off really quick.”
McCurdy says there have been seven new forest fires of varying sizes across Nova Scotia over the past week.
Several of those are the result of campfires being left unattended or from people clearing their properties by burning the brush.
Crews are working to get a 1-hectare fire in Cumberland County under control.
She says people need to pay attention to the burn ban to safeguard the forests, their property, fire crews and themselves against fire.
Burn restrictions are updated on the novascotia.ca/burnsafe web page everyday at 2 p.m.
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