Fire safety a burning concern

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Officials are expressing concern about the potential for forest fires during the summer following a number of instances this spring.

Several Colchester County fire departments have already been called out to battle blazes that were by all accounts preventable.

Last year there were 171 wildfires across the province, nine of which were in Colchester County, resulting in the destruction of 12.93 hectares of forest. Across the province wildfires destroyed 301.35 hectares.

On Sunday a crew of more than 100 firefighters from at least seven local departments, along with natural resources staff and helicopters, fought a forest fire, which burned new growth in a previously cutover area about two and a half hectares in size.

While the cause of the blaze had not been confirmed on Tuesday, a fire investigator was looking at the possibility it was a result of a nearby resident burning debris.

Firefighters returned on Monday to extinguish a few hot spots in an effort to prevent another flare up.

The Bible Hill fire brigade was called out on Monday to battle a grass fire, presumably set off by a spark from a chop saw cutting metal. The tiny spark landed in a ditch and ignited some tinder-dry grass.

While the blaze was quickly extinguished, it serves as a strong reminder to everyone to exercise caution when outdoors.

Dry grass and brush pose a grave danger to our fragile natural resources and wildlife.

This is the time of year when thousands of people flock to provincial parks and other forested locations for picnics and campouts.

For everyone’s safety and the protection of property it is critical to consider any possibility that a spark could cause a recreational fire to spread.

This year the province established a fire weather index map to show potential fire conditions. The risk in Colchester County is currently rated very high to extreme.

We encourage everyone to enjoy everything summer has to offer but to do it with safety in mind.

Geographic location: Colchester County

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