Fire index high to extreme on P.E.I.

Officials with the Department of Communities, Land and Environment are warning Islanders about the potential for forest fires as the fire index reaches extreme in some parts of P.E.I.

'There's a lot of potential for that if it does ignite for it to spread very quickly'

The fire index ranged from high to extreme across P.E.I. Tuesday evening. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Officials with the Department of Communities, Land and Environment are warning Islanders about the potential for forest fires as the fire index reaches extreme in some parts of P.E.I.

Tuesday evening, the fire index was high in the central and southeast regions, very high in the west and extreme in the northeast. The ratings mean there is an increased danger of fires spreading quickly.

All burn permits are invalid now due to higher winds and lack of rain the last few days.

"Before things green up, there is a lot of fuel out in the forest, and it has a chance to dry out after the snow load is gone," said Mike Montigny, manager of field services.

"There's a lot of potential for that if it does ignite for it to spread very quickly."

Mike Montigny, manager of field services with the Department of Communities, Land and Environment, says the forests are dry now that the snow has disappeared. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Islanders are being advised to check with their municipalities before they burn anything this spring.

In general, wind speeds must be below 10 kilometres an hour and the fire index must be low before fires are permitted.

Officials say there is some flexibility with backyard bonfires as long as people feel they can keep the fire safe under control.  

The fire index is updated every day — check it here.

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With files from Laura Meader