Fisheries and Land Resources
June 26, 2018

Minister Byrne Provides Update on Forest Fire Season

The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, today provided an update on the status of forest fire season, in effect until September 30 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Since the beginning of fire season there have been 71 fires – 67 on the island and four in Labrador, with 113.5 hectares burned – compared to 37 fires and 28.6 hectares burned by the same period in 2017. In total last year, 80 fires burned a total of 699.8 hectares, which was below the 10-year average of 115 fires per year.

Minister Byrne and Fisheries and Land Resources fire suppression staff provided the update during a technical briefing on the department’s forest fire management and coordination program. Highlights included a review of the Forest Fire Danger Rating System, use of remote automated weather stations (RAWS) throughout the province to collect hourly weather information, the province’s new Forest Fire Danger rating system, and the process used to make decisions on daily fire fighter schedules and dispatching the province’s CL415 air tankers.

Fire hazard information is available to the public via web-based maps, on special roadside signs or through regional Fisheries and Land Resources offices.

In keeping with the theme of wild fire management and prevention, Fisheries and Land Resources staff participated in FireSmart Canada’s National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day events on June 23 at West Haven Camp in Pasadena. Employees demonstrated forest fire equipment, conducted FireSmart activities, and discussed prevention and mitigation treatments to protect properties from the threat of wildfire.

“The key to fire suppression is early detection and rapid attack. Thanks to the advancement of cellular service and cooperation of the public, we have seen an increase in reporting of incidents, which enable our ground crews to respond earlier to commence suppression. My department is well equipped to respond to and manage wildfires, and our hardworking fire fighters, managers and Air Services staff are continuously improving the fire suppression program to protect all areas at risk from wildland fire in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

“Wildland fires are a natural part of most wildland ecosystems in Canada, and many homes are built near these areas, known as the wildland/urban interface. The building design and construction material used to construct your home and the choice of plant material and landscape design immediately adjacent to your home are critical factors in determining the likelihood of your home surviving a wildfire. The FireSmart Program works to advise homeowners in this wildland/urban interface how to take special precautions to protect their lives and property.”
Joe Russell
Provincial Liaison, FireSmart Canada

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

Joe Russell
Provincial Liaison, FireSmart Canada

2018 06 26                              1:00 p.m.