PEI

Forest fire risk extreme in central, eastern P.E.I. due to winds

After a few days of warm, dry weather, there's a higher risk of forest fire in P.E.I. — with most areas of the Island east of Summerside classified as extreme under the forest fire weather index.

Burning permits invalid throughout the province due to fire risk

This map illustrates the forest fire weather index on P.E.I. in the Western, Central-Southeastern and Northeastern districts. (Google Maps/CBC)

After a few days of warm, dry weather, there's a higher risk of forest fire in P.E.I. — with most areas of the Island east of Summerside classified as extreme under the forest fire weather index.

"It is really a lot to do with the wind speeds that we've seen over the last couple of days," said Mike Montigny, the manager of resource inventory with the province.

"It's drying and it's also indicating if there is a fire that wind is really going to be a force and push that fire along really fast."

The Northeast and Central-Southeast districts both fall under the extreme rating.

The Western district — which covers the area west of Summerside — is classified as high.

Due to the ratings, burning permits in all three districts are invalid.

Campfires — which are defined as small fires for cooking or warmth — don't require permits and are still allowed, but Montigny recommends people avoid them if possible.

"The biggest thing to keep in mind when you're dealing with campfires is just to be careful, make sure that you always have a way to keep the fires under control all the time," he said.

"If you have the option not to have a fire when you're in extreme conditions, it's certainly something we would encourage. There's always a risk that embers can get away from you."

The forest fire weather index is calculated every day at noon, and takes into account conditions over the past 24 hours.

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