Cool weather this past summer kept the number of forest fires in Newfoundland and Labrador on par with the 10-year average of 120 fires. The Provincial Government recorded 128 fire starts in 2015. An early spring on the Avalon Peninsula created a high number of grass fires which kept ground crews busy in April and May, however, there were no large forest fires in the province this year.

“Our fire management staff performed admirably during this year’s busy spring fire season. I thank them for their dedication to the Provincial Fire Management Program which protects our valuable provincial forest resource. Given the early drying conditions experienced in the province this spring, keeping the total area burned to low levels is a testament to the skill, dedication and professionalism of forest fire management personnel.”
– The Honourable Vaughn Granter, Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency

In total 3,866 hectares were burned in Newfoundland and Labrador during the official forest fire season; this is well below the 10-ten year average of 35,000 hectares. While eastern Canada experienced mainly a cool, wet summer that was not the case for western parts of the country which experienced one of the worst fire seasons on record. Forest fire personnel and equipment were drawn from all over Canada to assist including seven forest fire fighters, six incident management personnel and one water bomber from Newfoundland and Labrador.

“This is the second successive year that personnel from Newfoundland and Labrador have assisted those in need in Western Canada. In addition to helping fellow Canadians and their communities in other provinces, these deployments support recent efforts of the Forestry Services Branch in incident management training and provide our personnel with experience that furthers fire management capacity in this province.”
– Minister Vaughn Granter

Individuals have an important role to play in forest fire prevention and reducing the risk of wildfire around homes and cabins. Residents are encouraged to “FireSmart” their properties this fall by following a series of easy and practical tips. For more information on the FireSmart initiative and what you can do to reduce the risk of wildfire, please visit Communities and cabin associations are encouraged to work together and be recognized under the FireSmart Community Recognition Program.