Forest-fire season begins Monday

The 2019 forest-fire season in New Brunswick begins April 15 and ends October 31.

The province says, under the Forest Fire Act, if you ignite a fire on forest land, you are responsible for it and if it gets out of control you may be liable for the cost of fighting the fire and/or the destruction of other people's property.

Those who violate burning regulations may also face criminal penalties.

The province gives the following advice on burning during forest-fire season:
- Anyone igniting a Category 1 fire (fires with a diameter of three metres or less) should ensure burning is allowed in that area. This can be done by calling the toll-free burn line at 1-866-458-8080 or by visiting the Department of Energy and Resource Development website.
- Category 2, 3 and 4 fires require a written permit. Applications are available at the department's district offices.

According to a press release on Friday, burning grass is considered a Category 4 fire and a written burn plan must be submitted to the Department of Energy and Resource Development, have an inspection beforehand and then receive a written permit.

Anyone conducting an industrial operation on forest land during fire season must possess a valid work permit, specifying the required fire equipment and location of the operation.

The province says 285 fire burned 311 hectares of forest land in New Brunswick last year.

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, including blueberry field and peat bogs.