Wildfire season in Nova Scotia runs from March 15 to October 15. This is time of year when conditions tend to increase the risk of wildfires.

Prevention is the best way to reduce wildfires:

Fire restrictions

During fire season, open fires are only allowed when there is the lowest possible risk of wildfire. The safest time to burn is when temperatures are lower, humidity is higher and winds are calmer. Typically, this is in the evening and after or during rain, but people should always check the BurnSafe map to be sure.

Although sometimes it's raining, morning is usually the time when the risk of wildfires is greatest. Therefore for consistency, the blanket rule is no burning from 8 am to 2 pm. At 1 pm each day, we review weather data from across the province in order to determine burn restrictions for the rest of the day.

Domestic burning permits are not required but fire restrictions must be followed. These restrictions are for public safety. They are based on the Canadian Fire Weather Index System.

Fire restrictions are updated daily at 2 pm. You must check the fire restrictions online or call 1-855-564-2876 to see if burning is allowed:

  • Open fires are never allowed from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
  • Green means open fires are only allowed after 2:00 pm. Your fire must be out by 8:00 am.
  • Yellow means open fires are only allowed after 7:00 pm. Your fire must be out by 8:00 am.
  • Red means no open fires at all.

To report a wildfire or violations of the fire restrictions, call 1-800-565-2224 or 911.

Wildfires After-Action Report

As part of a continual improvement model, the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables engaged an independent third party to examine how the department, supporting government and non-government agencies, and fire departments responded to the Barrington Lake and Tantallon wildfires. The review also identifies areas that could be improved.

2023 Nova Scotia Wildfires After-Action Report (PDF)