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No burning till 2 p.m. - burn restrictions in effect in Nova Scotia

<p>Firefighters with the Department of Natural Resources catch their breath while the Hughes 500 helicopter drops 800-litre buckets of water on a brush fire in Cherry Valley May 2.</p>
<p>Firefighters with the Department of Natural Resources catch their breath while the Hughes 500 helicopter drops 800-litre buckets of water on a brush fire in Cherry Valley May 2.</p>

SHUBENACADIE, N.S. – The wildfire season has started in Nova Scotia - from now until the fall, Nova Scotians can only burn domestic brush or have a campfire after 2 p.m., and only if conditions allow.

Jim Rudderham, operations manager for forest protection, says wildfires can be a problem in late winter – early spring.

“Winter is a dry time of the year, any stiff wind can give really give a fire legs – that’s why we start the burn restrictions in March,” he told the Truro Daily News by phone Tuesday. “The moisture is there; we had a lot of rain in December, but we didn’t get the snowpack we normally get. We like to see snowpack because it releases the moisture slowly. Without the snow we’d like to see some rain so the buds will flush quicker and for green up. Green up is important to us because until then the woods are more susceptible to fire.”

In the last five years, firefighters in Nova Scotia have fought a total of 441 wildfires in the months of March and April.

The map and restrictions apply  to the burning of campfires and domestic brush, which is brush on properties of homeowners, woodlot owners, farmers and other non-industrial lands.

Industrial brush burning still requires a paper permit from the Department of Natural Resources.

Rudderham says anglers are like everyone else and are not permitted to light fires for warmth, boiling tea or cooking trout until at least 2 p.m. and then only if conditions allow.

Rudderham suggests a portable gas stove is a simpler safer option for cooking in the woods.

Starting March 15 until Oct. 15, the Department of Natural Resources updates their Burn Safe map and telephone message every day at 2 p.m. on a county-by-county basis.

Rudderham says the department gathers weather data every day at 1 p.m. and sets the forest fire conditions indexes based on that – the cumulative weather data for the whole season is taken into account in setting the conditions indexes.

“We don’t set the indexes at 8 a.m. because it’s important to know the weather for that morning – if we allowed people to burn until noon or two p.m., depending on weather conditions, that could be the hottest driest part of the day  - and if the fire isn’t fully out, by mid afternoon a little wind and it could really get up and walk - which is sometimes hard for people to understand if it is raining where they are,” he said. “We set the fire restrictions on a county-wide basis and of course there will always be pockets within a county where it rains more than others but we have to err on the side of caution.”

jonathan.riley@tc.tc

Burn Safe restrictions in Nova Scotia

From March 15 to Oct. 15

No burning between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

After 2 p.m., check the BurnSafe map at novascotia.ca/BurnSafe

 - Green means burning is allowed in that county from 2 p.m. through 8 a.m.

 - Yellow means burning is allowed in that county from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

 - Red means no burning is allowed in that county

People can also call tollfree to hear a recorded message at 1-855-564-2876 (B-U-R-N)

Jim Rudderham, operations manager for forest protection, says wildfires can be a problem in late winter – early spring.

“Winter is a dry time of the year, any stiff wind can give really give a fire legs – that’s why we start the burn restrictions in March,” he told the Truro Daily News by phone Tuesday. “The moisture is there; we had a lot of rain in December, but we didn’t get the snowpack we normally get. We like to see snowpack because it releases the moisture slowly. Without the snow we’d like to see some rain so the buds will flush quicker and for green up. Green up is important to us because until then the woods are more susceptible to fire.”

In the last five years, firefighters in Nova Scotia have fought a total of 441 wildfires in the months of March and April.

The map and restrictions apply  to the burning of campfires and domestic brush, which is brush on properties of homeowners, woodlot owners, farmers and other non-industrial lands.

Industrial brush burning still requires a paper permit from the Department of Natural Resources.

Rudderham says anglers are like everyone else and are not permitted to light fires for warmth, boiling tea or cooking trout until at least 2 p.m. and then only if conditions allow.

Rudderham suggests a portable gas stove is a simpler safer option for cooking in the woods.

Starting March 15 until Oct. 15, the Department of Natural Resources updates their Burn Safe map and telephone message every day at 2 p.m. on a county-by-county basis.

Rudderham says the department gathers weather data every day at 1 p.m. and sets the forest fire conditions indexes based on that – the cumulative weather data for the whole season is taken into account in setting the conditions indexes.

“We don’t set the indexes at 8 a.m. because it’s important to know the weather for that morning – if we allowed people to burn until noon or two p.m., depending on weather conditions, that could be the hottest driest part of the day  - and if the fire isn’t fully out, by mid afternoon a little wind and it could really get up and walk - which is sometimes hard for people to understand if it is raining where they are,” he said. “We set the fire restrictions on a county-wide basis and of course there will always be pockets within a county where it rains more than others but we have to err on the side of caution.”

jonathan.riley@tc.tc

Burn Safe restrictions in Nova Scotia

From March 15 to Oct. 15

No burning between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

After 2 p.m., check the BurnSafe map at novascotia.ca/BurnSafe

 - Green means burning is allowed in that county from 2 p.m. through 8 a.m.

 - Yellow means burning is allowed in that county from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.

 - Red means no burning is allowed in that county

People can also call tollfree to hear a recorded message at 1-855-564-2876 (B-U-R-N)

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