Fire index high, conditions dry across the province
CHARLOTTETOWN â€” With the fire index high in most parts of the province, all burning permits are not invalid.
© File photo
TOSH grass fire
Todayâ€™s fire weather index is very high in central areas and high in northeastern P.E.I. These dry conditions are being accentuated by the high, gusty winds and, if a fire gets started, it could quickly become a fast-moving and serious forest fire, warned the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
The fire index in the western part of the province is moderate due to higher rainfall in that region, and officials noted that there is not much rain in the long-range forecast so conditions could get worse.
During the summer months, the biggest cause of forest fires are the embers from outdoor flames such as barbecues, cigarettes, and sparks from engines.
Current conditions are dry in most Island woodlands so any fire could spread quickly damaging crops, livestock, buildings and other structures.
The time and effort required to combat wildfires often impacts local firefighter time and resources and can lead to delays should more serious fires occur in that fire district.
Burning permits are required for any outdoor fire from March 15 to Dec. 1.
Burning can only occur when the fire weather index is low and wind speeds are 10 kilometres per hour or less.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to check the forecast and have accurate information before initiating any fire.
Burning permits are available free-of-charge from any forest district office.
Fire weather index information is available from any forest district office, online at www.gov.pe.ca/forestry/fwi, or by calling 902-368 4800 after hours to hear an automated FWI recording.