Click here to edit subtitle

Wildland fires can be catastrophic for forests but also for homeowners and their property.  Fires are often caused by natural factors, but by far, the largest cause of wildfires is man-related.  Learning about wildfire prevention and what you can do to help will reduce the number of fires.  Preventing forest fires is everyone’s responsibility!  The Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission's Prevention and Education Working Team (PEWT) offers several ways to take part.  See the Prevention section for more information.


Fall and Forest Fire Safety go Hand in Hand

With the onset of cooler weather and autumn colours, fall may be one of the most enjoyable seasons for outdoor activities. However, as cooler temperatures set in, vegetation will die and dry out and become very flammable. Keep in mind, forest fire prevention and mitigation messaging is still applicable, and it is vital that we be wary of forest fires during this time of the year.

Campfire Safety

In most regions, the Forest Fire Season extends well into the fall. Depending on where you are located, local regulations and restrictions may be in place if you wish to have an open fire on forested land.

If you plan to have an open fire, we recommend you follow these simple steps.

  • Check local regulations to ensure you are allowed to burn.
  • Check the Fire Hazard rating for your region.
  • When selecting a site for the fire:
    • ensure the location is protected from winds gusts;
    • select a site that is close to an adequate source of water;
    • clear an area, at least a three metres (10 feet) in diameter, free of all combustible material such as grass, sticks or other vegetation;
    • make sure there is no overhead or hanging vegetation; and
    • if possible, dig a pit for the fire and surround it with rocks to contain your fire.

  • When your fire is burning:
    • keep your fire small and contained within the fire ring;
    • NEVER EVER leave a fire unattended;
    • always keep water and a shovel nearby to extinguish your fire; and
    • pay attention to the weather conditions. Wind gusts can quickly spread embers and ignite nearby vegetation.
  • Finally, MAKE SURE YOUR FIRE IS COMPLETELY OUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE! Soak your fire with plenty of water, stir it with a shovel and soak it again. Make sure it is cool to touch before leaving.

Gasoline Powered Equipment

In wildland and forested areas, it is vital that equipment be properly maintained. All portable, gasoline-powered equipment such as; chainsaws, all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers and weed trimmers are required to be equipped with functioning spark arresters and muffler systems.

  • Keep your exhaust system and spark arresters in proper working order and free of carbon build up and debris.
  • Many provinces and states require all-terrain vehicles to be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Check local regulations to determine the appropriate size and class.
  • When travelling over dry, grassy terrain, remember the heat from your exhaust system can quickly ignite a wildfire. Avoid parking in tall dry grass.

Be FireSmart or Firewise around your Home, Cottage or Cabin

The threat of forest fires is real for anyone living in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). The WUI is any developed area where structures and other human developments, intermix with wildland or vegetative fuels. Within this area both natural and constructed fuels exist, and depending on the material used, can quickly advance the spread of wildfire.

The fall is a great time to clear debris in and around your home, cottage or cabin. As a homeowner, it is important to know there are simple things you can do to greatly improve the chances of your home surviving a wildfire. 

To learn more visit:

FireSmart Canada

Firewise USA

With fall approaching, we encourage all residents to keep these important forest fire prevention and mitigation messages in mind.