Although the need for forest fire equipment and crews was recognized in the early 1920’s in Nova Scotia, and several local districts, warden camps and towers were erected to compensate the lack there of, the main Forest Protection division wasn’t created until 1948. The new depot in the end included cookhouses, bunk houses, garage and welding shops, carpentry shop, storage barns, landing strips and hangar.
Today the province has 5 helicopters, 210 Permanent and seasonal Natural Resources firefighters some of which trained to export standards, 40 wildfire trucks, 34 weather stations, 14 fire towers, with local airport for aerial detection on high days. With much more in the lines of specialized equipment and a fleet of assistance from local volunteer firefighters.
Our Top three Wildfire concerns!
Prevention concerns in the province of Nova Scotia stem on its small land mass and large population, a good percentage of the communities out there are nestled in amongst the trees and its members are not prepared for a wildfire. Fire smarting homes, properties and having a 72 hour survival plan and kit have been a focus because the number one cause of wildfire in Nova Scotia is human error be it intentional or not.
Second of concern is brush burning, tightening up the regulations to better make aware publics need to condense pile sizes, and number before burning, the distances they are from combustible materials, but also including in this realm campfires and some guidelines to better prepare public and prevent what could happen. A new burning system is being implemented for the spring of 2014, a Burn, No Burn or Burn with restrictions day with phone in and web based mapping, so public can see if it is a safe day or unsafe day by phone or internet.
Third are getting public to play smart when camping, hiking and enjoying Nova Scotia’s Atlantic playground. Campfires, stoves, cooking, smoking, lanterns and fireworks are the highlights. Nova Scotia has a high amount of traffic when it comes to seasonal tourist attractions.
We have one of the most advanced fire weather prediction systems in the country, a completely automated weather system with 31 FTS, fully automated weather stations and 3 quick deploys for incidents.
Nova Scotia has in place Parks Educational programs once a week at EVERY park in the province, often times the focus is on wildfire prevention. Keep your eyes peeled to the Parks website at: www.novascotia.ca/natr/parks/ for more information and when these programs take place.
Summer Day Camp at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park –From July 22-26 the Wildlife Park will be hosting a day camp, youth can attend daily or the entire week for a fee. July 26th will concentrate on Wildfire Prevention, suppression and wilderness survival.