Dry winter brings early grass fire season

Dry winter brings early grass fire season

2 April 2007

published by www.amherstdaily.com

NovaScotia, Canada — The second straight dry winter has resulted in a second straight cautious spring in terms of fire risk.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has once again moved up its date for requiring burning permits to April 1. This applies to anyone on mainland Nova Scotia wishing to burn brush within 1,000 feet of the woods.

“There’s no snow cover, so everything’s dried up on us,” said Gene Cloney, a fire technician at the DNR office in Oxford. “There’s a lot of dead debris and grass out there, which is a hazard because it can take off on us real fast.”

While some meteorologists are expecting a dry summer ahead, Cloney is taking a wait-and-see approach.

“Last year we had a dry spell for the first week of April and then it rained for most of June and July,” he said. “It was one of the best fire seasons we’ve had, and it started out the same as this year.”

Amherst Fire Chief Bill Crossman agreed, saying they had very few calls last year and have not yet been busy this year. The department has only responded to four grass fire calls thus far, three in town and one in Maccan.

Cloney advised anyone burning to watch the wind, make sure they have enough water available, and don’t try to burn more than they can handle.

Also make sure to follow the proper regulations and bylaws, according to Crossman.

“If you do get a permit, you have to realize you have the responsibility to have everything in place to control it,” he said. “Otherwise you can be charged, even with apermit.”

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