Canada — As people start heading out into nature after along cold winter, theyre being reminded to be responsible with fire.
Forest fire season begins today on the island and on May 15 in Labrador and ends on Sept. 30 throughout the province.
The province is reminding people that a permit to burn for clearing land or burning brush within 300 metres of a forest during the forest fire season is available for free from the province.
Fires lit for cooking and camping dont require permits, but the province is reminding people who start these types of fires to ensure adequate amounts of water are on hand to extinguish the fire; to never leave a fire unattended; to have quick access to tools to clear ground to make fire breaks; and, to avoid lighting of fires in high wind.
The Department of Natural Resources has 117 seasonal forest firefighters to fight fires throughout the province this season. Conservation officers will also be available to provide support if required.
The province also operates a fleet of six water bombers and four light helicopters during the forest fire season. Water bombers are strategically situated around the province – two in Gander and one each in Deer Lake, St. Johns, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Wabush.
Meanwhile, in this weeks provincial budget the province announced a $30 million investment into six new water bombers to fight fires.