Fisheries and Land Resources
April 13, 2018

Drier Spring Conditions Anticipated as 2018 Forest Fire Season Declared

The 2018 forest fire season will be in effect from May 1 to September 30 on the island portion of the province and from May 15 to September 30 in Labrador.

With conditions expected to be drier than usual this spring due to a lower than normal snowpack, there is an increased risk of wild fires occurring earlier than usual in 2018, especially if coupled with insufficient spring rainfall. Similar conditions last occurred in 2012, when there was an increase in wildfire activity with 198 wildfires and about 225,500 hectares burned in the province, compared to the 20-year average of 140 fires and approximately 34,000 hectares burned.

Under the Forestry Act, a permit to burn is required to burn brush on forest land or within 300 metres of forest land during this period.

Permits to burn can be obtained at regional or district forest management offices. A copy of the Forest Fire Regulations is also available at these offices. Failing to comply with a permit or condition of a permit to burn is an offence and liable in accordance with the Forest Fire Offence and Penalty Regulations.

Extreme caution is advised relating to spring burning and use of vehicles or forestry equipment near forest land. To report a wildfire, please call 1-866-709-FIRE (3473).

“The province is well prepared to respond to wildfires, with firefighters strategically placed throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and five water bombers available in cooperation with other federal, local and volunteer organizations. About 80 per cent of forest fires are caused by humans; with drier conditions expected this spring despite some areas recently receiving late-spring snowfalls, we must all be extra vigilant on forested lands to prevent wildfires.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Media contact
Linda Skinner
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2284, 709-632-8167


  • Residents are responsible for ensuring safe conditions exist prior to starting a fire. When the fire hazard is HIGH or winds are above 15 kilometres/hour, burning is not permitted under a permit to burn. Open fires are suspended when the fire hazard is VERY HIGH.
  • Residents are reminded to follow safe burning practices when burning brush or debris or having a campfire. Select a level site away from trees, dense dry grass or overhanging branches; ensure a 10-foot circle of bare soil surrounds the location of the fire; keep fire to a manageable size; keep a shovel and water nearby; never leave a fire unattended; and ensure fire is extinguished before leaving the site.
  • Chainsaws, harvesting equipment and all-terrain vehicles (ATV) must be equipped with appropriate mufflers and spark arrestors to prevent flammable debris from escaping.
  • When using a chainsaw or riding an ATV on forested lands, users must carry a fire extinguisher containing a minimum of 227 grams of ABC class dry chemical.

2018 04 13                              2:10 p.m.