A ban on open fires has been put in effect for all of Newfoundland and Labrador. The ban specifically prohibits the setting of all open fires on forest land or within 300 meters of forest land for all regions of the province.
The declaration will remain in effect until September 30 and includes a ban on grass burning, brush burning, campfires and personal fireworks. Gas barbeques and CSA approved patio wood-burning devices are excluded from the ban, except in municipalities that have issued a ban for these devices.
Historically, 80 percent of forest fires in the province are caused by people. The open fire ban has been declared with the goal of reducing the number of wildfires requiring action by Fisheries and Land Resources fire staff, local and volunteer fire departments, and other first responders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is consistent with actions being taken by other forest fire fighting agencies in Canada to lower the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure.
The minimum fine associated with the violation of the fire ban proclamation is $1000. The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has already recorded five wildfires this year related to the burning of grass by individuals.