New Brunswick

Fire officials frustrated with campers who defy provincial burn ban

New Brunswick is still under a burn ban, but some residents aren't getting the message, the provincial wildfire prevention officer said Friday.

Ban continues in New Brunswick, where risk of fire is high after dry spell

Smoke from a forest fire darkens the sky near a house on Miscou Island just a few days ago. (Facebook)

New Brunswick is still under a burn ban, but some residents aren't getting the message, the provincial wildfire prevention officer said Friday.

"We're still getting some fires everyday … some of them are campfires that were not properly extinguished," Roger Collet said in an interview with Information Morning Fredericton.

"Some people are not getting the message. It is a bit frustrating."

Residents who light campfires can be ticketed $172. If the fire gets out of control, those responsible can be made to pay the cost of extinguishing it.

Collet said fire crews have been keeping a close watch on potential fires this week, particularly in forested areas.

Aircraft are patrolling forests, looking for signs of smoke. People are also reporting possible fires in their areas.

"We're managing it," he said.

We have a serious situation in the woods at this time.-Rick Doucet, minister of energy and resource development

About 50 firefighters responded to a forest fire near Forest City, a small community north of McAdam near the Canadian-U.S. border, on Thursday. The fire was about two hectares in size.

Firefighters were expected to remain on the scene Friday to control any remaining hot spots.

Meanwhile, fire crews were able to get a forest fire under control on New Brunswick's Miscou Island earlier this week that forced several residents out of their homes.

The fire burned about 35 hectares of forest.

The province is still under a burn ban. (Government of New Brunswick)

Collet said some of these fires are easier to extinguish than others, and the province is in dire need of three to four days of steady rain.

"Miscou wasn't all that big of a fire … but it was significant because of where it was and how many homes it affected," he said.

Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet said the forest fire hazard in New Brunswick is the highest it's been in 20 years.

Rick Doucet, minister of energy and resource development, put daily forestry restrictions into effect on Thursday. (Kirk Pennell/CBC )

Doucet ordered a daily eight-hour halt to certain forestry operations starting at noon Thursday, since a lot of heat comes off machinery, and there is also the potential of sparks if a part strikes a rock.

Operations are still allowed before noon and after 8 p.m., Doucet said.

"We have a serious situation in the woods at this time," he said.

With files from Information Morning Fredericton

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