Burning permits invalid in hot, windy weather

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U.S. Forest Service firefighter Chris Marlor uses a drip torch to start a controlled burn in the Rattlesnake Creek area of the Nile Valley near Naches, Wash., Wednesday, June 11, 2014. P.E.I. frestry official are taking steps to ensure a similar fire doesn't start here. Burning permits are no longer valid in P.E.I. because of the hot, dry, windy weather the province has been experiencing.

Islanders are advised that the hot, dry and windy weather means burning permits are not valid.

People are also being urged to use caution with any and all outdoor fires. Today's fire weather index is very high in central areas of the province and high in northeastern Prince Edward Island, says a provincial news release.

The 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.

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.

The news release says that during the summer months, the biggest cause of forest fires are embers from outdoor flames such as BBQs, 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 firefighters time and resources and can lead to delays should more serious fires occur in that fire district.

Burning permits are available free-of-charge from any forest district office. Fire weather index information available from forest district office, and online at www.gov.pe.ca/forestry/fwi, or calling (902) 368-4800 after hours to hear an automated FWI recording. 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 km/hr or less.

It is the responsibility of the permit holder to check a forecast and have accurate information before initiating any fire.

Geographic location: Northeastern Prince Edward Island

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