May
29
2023

No brush burning allowed; PEI sending a crew to assist Nova Scotia

Based on wind and weather projections and to minimize the risk of forest fires, officials predict outdoor burning will not be allowed until further notice.

The Burn Restrictions Map is updated daily at 1:30pm, and anyone planning an outdoor burn must consult the map before burning to confirm if burning is allowed. Currently, weather conditions do not allow for brush burning.

“While we are working hard to mitigate the risk of forest fires after post-tropical storm Fiona, we need Islanders to do the same. Don’t burn brush until the burn restrictions map gives the all clear. Penalties have increased for illegal burns, up to $50,000 in some cases. We don’t want to come after anyone, but illegal burning presents an unacceptable risk to public safety.”

- Environment, Energy and Climate Action Minister Steven Myers

Immediately after Fiona, forestry officials began assessing and dealing with forest fire risk in PEI. They have assessed all public lands and are at work cleaning up downed trees, dealing with higher risk areas first. Officials are creating fire breaks against any high-risk infrastructure like homes, using principles of the national FireSmart Program. The province has also offered a salvage incentive to private woodlot owners to help offset the costs associated with dealing with hurricane-downed wood, with 1000 hectares enrolled so far.

The provincial government announced a new $550,000 forest fire prevention fund in its latest operating budget, which will provide more forest fire training to more people to build wildland firefighting capacity. Funds will also go to purchasing and distributing fire fighting equipment to targeted volunteer fire departments and other locations across PEI to increase response capabilities. Further investments will also be made in drone technology to allow forest fire operations to be effective and efficient.

“We reached out to local fire brigades to offer them additional training and we have increased our own capacity in this area as we work on training staff across government to respond to forest fires.” added Minister Myers. “For years, we’ve been sending PEI staff to learn by fighting fires in other provinces, and we’re confident this has given us the training and experience we need to deal with a fire in PEI. We will continue to expand these training opportunities.”

Several PEI forest fire fighters are currently deployed to assist other provinces dealing with forest fires. There is one fire fighter in Alberta now. A team of five fire fighters is heading to Nova Scotia today, along with extra equipment that Nova Scotia has requested. 

Learn more about preventing forest fires at Fire Information and about protecting homes from forest fires at: FireSmart Canada.

Media contact:
Katie Cudmore
Communications Officer
Environment, Energy and Climate Action
Transportation and Infrastructure
902-314-3996
katiecudmore@gov.pe.ca

Backgrounder: 

Emergency Preparedness

The Province of Prince Edward Island reminds all residents that proper emergency planning can save lives, preserve the environment, and protect our Island’s infrastructures and economies. 

Please consider the following tips shared by the Emergency Management Organization:

  • When preparing for an emergency it’s important to remember these three tips: 1) Know the risks; 2) Make a Plan; 3) Create an Emergency Kit
  • Be aware of where you live. Most emergencies that occur in a municipality are managed by local resources. If you live in a municipal district, make yourself familiar of their respective emergency plan(s).
  • The Province of Prince Edward Island offers many resources through the EMO webpage, including an Emergency Preparedness Guide for individuals and facilities across PEI, which can be found at: Emergency Measures Organization.
  • PEI has an All Hazards Emergency Plan that Island residents should be aware of. It outlines how a provincial response to a major emergency or disaster is coordinated.

General Inquiries

Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action
4th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5044
Toll-free: 1-866-368-5044
Fax: 902-368-5830
Report an Environmental Concern

DeptEECA@gov.pe.ca