Traditionally, many Nova Scotia property owners think about cleaning up the yard in the spring, but unless we've had a number of large snowfalls over the winter, dead grass and other vegetation in your yard can dry out quickly becoming flammable as early as mid-March. In fact the highest number of wildfires occur in April and May, usually the result of grass or brush burning that got out of control.
There are alternatives to burning such as chipping or composting, but if your best option is burning, the best time to do it is during the winter when the woods are protected from fire with a blanket of snow. Burning outside of the fire season, especially when snow is on the ground, greatly reduces the chances of a fire spreading and saves you a few dollars in burning permit fees.
You can also pick your day when weather conditions are favourable for smoke dispersal so as not to annoy the neighbours! So if you must burn brush, avoid the fire season, the most dangerous time of the year to burn, and do it safely, with very little smoke during the winter.
** Some municipalities require a burning permit year round. Please check with your local municipal office or fire department. **
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- Gather and pile brush in an open area away from over-hanging branches.
- In the fall, cover the brush pile with a tarp. Keep the pile covered for at least two months before you burn.
- When you are ready to burn, choose a calm day (wind 10 km/h and below) with snow on the ground. Remove the tarp.
- Place some paper all around the base of the pile and light it. Do not use the fire to dispose of household garbage, or use old tires, oil or other accelerants.
- Enjoy a safer, cleaner burn with very little smoke.