News release

Fires in Cape Breton Prompt Warnings

The province is urging Nova Scotians to understand the dangers of uncontrolled fires and to take steps to prevent them after a number of fires have occurred in Cape Breton Regional Municipality already this season.

"We don't want our communities, families and neighbours to experience the devastation of losing their homes," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "We need to understand the serious danger that fire presents and do everything we can to ensure the safety and security of everyone in our communities."

Most of the about 20 fires in Cape Breton Regional Municipality this week were deliberately set. Firefighting and fire prevention specialists with the Department of Natural Resources are urging people to take necessary precautions with outdoor fires, avoid burning grass, and report suspicious activities to the authorities.

In 2012, more than one quarter of Nova Scotia's 392 wildfires happened in the municipality.

"Almost all wildfires are caused by people, and in the spring, many of these begin with people deliberately setting brush or grass on fire," said Walter Fanning, Natural Resources' director of forest protection. "Fortunately we are looking at a fair amount of rain this weekend, which will help reduce the chance of fires starting or spreading."

Uncontrolled fires are fueled by weather, wind and dry underbrush. For tips on safe burning and to protect homes and forests, go to novascotia.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/firecentre/fire-smart.asp .

Fighting fires comes with a cost, in taxpayers' dollars and in risks to provincial, municipal and volunteer fire fighters.

Nova Scotians are asked to call 9-1-1 immediately, if they spot a wildfire. For more information on forest fire safety and prevention, visit novascotia.ca/natr/ .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is urging Nova Scotians to understand the dangers of uncontrolled fires and to take steps to prevent them after a number of fires have occurred in Cape Breton Regional Municipality already this season.

Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker says people need to understand the serious danger fire presents and do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of communities.

Most of the about 20 fires in Cape Breton Regional Municipality this week were deliberately set.

Firefighting and fire prevention specialists with the Department of Natural Resources are urging people to take necessary precautions around outdoor fires, to avoid burning grass, and to report suspicious activities to the authorities.

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Bruce Nunn
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