In 2020, 462 fires burned 1356 hectares of forest land in New Brunswick.
Under the Forest Fires Act, if you ignite a fire, you are responsible for it. If your fire gets out of control, you may be liable for the cost of fighting the fire and/or damage to another person’s property. You may also face criminal penalties for violating burning regulations.
Burning grass is considered a Category 4 fire. People who deem it necessary to burn grass must submit a written burn plan to the department, have an inspection beforehand, and then receive a written permit.
During the New Brunswick fire season, anyone who conducts an industrial operation on forest land must possess a valid work permit that specifies the required fire equipment and the location of the operation. A work permit is available at no cost by phoning the appropriate district office. Inspections will be conducted by officers throughout the season to ensure compliance with industrial operations.
Cities, towns and some villages have bylaws that restrict burning. It is the responsibility of the public to understand and follow these bylaws. In 2020, 462 fires burned 1356 hectares of forest land in New Brunswick. Forest land includes any land outside the boundaries of a city or town, not cultivated for agricultural purposes, on which trees, shrubs, plants or grass are growing. It also includes blueberry fields and peat bogs.
As the Atlantic province continues to deal with high unemployment and energy crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, a preventable man made disaster such as forest fires, would be a huge blow to the community.