Forest fire index approaches extreme

The forest fire index for P.E.I. is approaching extreme levels, say forestry officials.

Hot weather this week and a lack of rain since May have pushed the forest fire index for P.E.I. close to extreme levels.

At 8 a.m. Thursday the index was high in northeastern and western P.E.I. and very high in central-southeastern P.E.I. With temperatures expected to hit 28 C and a hot breeze blowing over the Island that index was expected to go up by the end of the day.

Opening burning, like campfires, is prohibited across the Island and burn permits are no longer valid. Dan McAskill, manager of fire protection for the province, said Islanders need to use caution.

"We have standby officers in three districts that are available. The bombardiers are ready to run, all fire equipment is ready to run. So we are on 24/7 fire call right now," McAskill said.

The burning restrictions will likely continue until the province gets some significant rainfall, but there is little hope of relief in the forecast through to Wednesday.

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are also under a burning restrictions.