Fisheries and Land Resources
October 25, 2017

Provincial Forest Fire Numbers Down for 2017

Forest fire statistics for Newfoundland and Labrador indicate the number of fire starts and the area burned in 2017 is down significantly when compared to the provincial 10-year average. In 2017, there were 73 fires that burned a total of 699 hectares of forest land; well below the provincial 10-year average of 116 fires and 35,324 hectares burned.

Eighty-seven per cent of the total area burned was the result of one large forest fire near Edwards Island in Labrador. The remaining 13 per cent of forest area burned in the province consisted of small fires on the Island and other parts of Labrador. Seventy-nine per cent of forest fires occurring in 2017 were less than one hectare in size.

In 2017, the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources successfully launched new provincial forest fire hazard forecast maps. These online maps, updated daily during the forest fire season to provide the public with timely information on the risk of wildfire throughout the province, proved to be a very useful new fire prevention tool.

A below average forest fire season also permitted the Provincial Government to make staff and resources available to assist with forest fire suppression efforts in other parts of the country through the Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreement. The department provided 11 forest fire fighters and 13 Incident Management Team personnel to British Columbia while three water bombers supported firefighting efforts in Manitoba and Quebec.

“The proactive work of our professional team of forest fire fighters, the ability we now have to notify the public of fire hazard risks in a timely manner and weather conditions have all contributed to the low impact from forest fires experienced in the province this year.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Media contact
Craig Renouf
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 632-8167 

2017 10 25                             9:45 a.m.