NORTH ALGONA WILBERFORCE TOWNSHIP

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE

WILDLAND FIRE SEASON

  • The wildland fire season in Ontario runs from April 1st through October 31st each year.
  • Approximately 55 wildfires have occurred in the 2021 fire season to date in Ontario.
  • Approximately 8,000 wildfires occur each year in Canada.
  • The average area burned in Canada is 2.5 million ha/year.
  • Fires caused by lightning represent 45% of all fires, but because they occur in remote locations and often in clusters, they represent 81% of total area burned.
  • Human-caused fires represent 55% of all fires. They occur in more populated areas and are usually reported and extinguished quickly.[1]
  • Currently (as of May 23, 2021), the MNRF reports 16 wildland fires in the province in various stages of control.

 

Wildland Fire Safety Tips:

Safe campfires:

Follow these easy steps to build a campfire safely.

  1. Choose a site
  • Pick a site close to a water source and sheltered from the wind.
  • Build your fire on bare rock, bare dirt or other non-combustible material (mineral soil).
  • Build your fire at least one metre away from any flammable materials.
  • Make sure the space above the fire is at least three metres from overhanging branches and vegetation.
  1. Prepare the site
  • Clear a space about two metres wide for the fire.
  • Remove pine needles, grass, leaves and twigs.
  • Scrape the area right down to the mineral soil.
  • Ensure you have a pail of water and a shovel to control the fire.
  1. Build your campfire
  • Keep your fire small to a maximum of one metre high and one metre wide.
  • Remember that small fires are safer, easier to control and easier to put out.
  • A small fire will also keep cooking tools from blackening and let you get close enough to cook.
  1. Stay nearby
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Remember that you are responsible for tending your campfire, ensuring it is kept under control, and for putting it out.
  1. Put the fire out
  • Pour lots of water on the campfire.
  • Stir the ashes with a stick.
  • Pour more water over top of the campfire.
  • Stir the ashes with a stick again.
  • Repeat until:
    • the ashes are cold to the touch
    • the ashes don’t hiss
    • the ashes look soaked; and
    • no more smoke comes from the ashes

 

Safety tips for kids

  • Always ensure children are with an adult when they are around a fire.
  • Never allow children to play with matches or fireworks.
  • Teach your children to tell an adult immediately if they see a fire burning out of control.
  • Learn more about fire safety from Smokey Bear, including tips on preventing wildfires, and games and activities for kids.

 

ATV safety tips

ATV’s start wildland fires every year. Debris and grass build-up on the ATV can heat up, fall off, and ignite dry grass or the forest floor. You can help reduce the risk. When riding your ATV in the outdoors, follow these safety tips:

  • secure dragging parts and trailer chains
  • check tire pressure for exposed rims
  • keep your machine clean
  • maintain brakes to prevent metal-to-metal contact
  • avoid operating vehicles on dry grass
  • stop often to check for and remove debris build-up
  • ensure that exhaust systems are free and clear of flammable material
  • ensure your ATV has a proper spark arrestor
  • always give time to let your machine cool
  • pack a shovel, collapsible pail or fire extinguisher in case of fire

 

Remember, YOU are responsible for the fires you start. Be careful to only start a fire when the conditions allow the fire to burn safely and remember to extinguish it correctly. If you cause a wildland fire, you could be charged under the Forest Fires Prevention Act and may be held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire. 

 

Visit How to prevent forest fires | Ontario.ca to learn more, including safety advice for hunters, shore launch fires and fireworks.

Visit Forest Fire Info Map (gov.on.ca) to view an interactive map of active forest fires and fire danger ratings in Ontario.

 

[1] “Wildfire Facts”, Get Prepared, Public Safety Canada, modified 30 Oct 19, Wildfires (getprepared.gc.ca)

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