CANADA – CORNER BROOK, N.L. – Almost four times as much land has been burned by forest fires so far this year as compared to the same period in 2017.
Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne provided an update of the forest fire season today, June 26.
There have been 71 fires to date, Byrne indicated.
The vast majority have been on the island with just four in Labrador. The fires have burnt 113.5 hectares. Last year at this time there had been only 37 fires and 28.6 hectares burned.
For the entire season last year, 80 fires burned a total of 699.8 hectares. The 10-year average is 115 fires per year.
Byrne and fire suppression staff with Fisheries and Land Resources offered the data during a technical briefing on the department’s forest fire management and coordination program while in Corner Brook.
The briefing included a review of the forest fire danger rating system, use of remote automated weather stations (RAWS) throughout the province to collect hourly weather information and the process used to make decisions on daily fire fighter schedules and dispatching the province’s CL415 air tankers.
“The key to fire suppression is early detection and rapid attack. Thanks to the advancement of cellular service and cooperation of the public, we have seen an increase in reporting of incidents, which enable our ground crews to respond earlier to commence suppression,” Byrne said in a release.
“My department is well equipped to respond to and manage wildfires, and our hardworking fire fighters, managers and Air Services staff are continuously improving the fire suppression program to protect all areas at risk from wildland fire in Newfoundland and Labrador.”