PEI

Anyone who violates P.E.I. fire ban will be fined, says public safety minister

With the forest fire risk rated as extreme across P.E.I. there will be no warnings issued when it comes to fire safety, says Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson.

Fines can reach up to $50,000

Bloyce Thompson in the legislature
'No more warnings,' says Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson. (Province of P.E.I.)

With the forest fire risk rated as extreme across P.E.I. there will be no warnings issued when it comes to fire safety, says Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson.

Anyone caught violating the ban will be fined.

Thompson made the comments Wednesday while responding to questions in the legislature about P.E.I.'s fire prevention efforts.

Liberal MLA Robert Henderson asked what measures the province has in place to prevent fires from breaking out because of human error or mistakes.

A fire burning in an outdoor fire pit.
Conservation officers will be patrolling, says P.E.I.'s minister of public safety. (CBC)

Thompson said he met with the provincial fire marshal Wednesday morning to talk about precautions that should be taken. The big ask that came from that meeting was that the province crack down on anyone lighting fires while the ban is in effect, he said.

"With the fire ban being active 24 hours, he asked that there be no warnings. That it's time to start fining," Thompson said.

"They had to be called to separate small fires last night just from careless people so I committed to him today that people will be fined. No more warnings."

Conservation officers will be out patrolling for fires while the ban is in place, he said.

"We want to make sure that what's happening in Nova Scotia doesn't happen here, so we're going to take all precautions we can," Thompson said. 

Ban in effect until June 25

The fire ban prohibits outdoor burning of any kind, which includes campfires and bonfires, including those in backyard pits on private property.

That ban will be in effect until June 25 or further notice.

Islanders were already prohibited from burning brush after an unusually dry winter and spring put the fire index at high. Parks Canada said Tuesday that campfires are also being banned at P.E.I. National Park sites.

According to a spokesperson with the province, the fine for violating the fire ban could be up to $50,000, depending on the circumstances.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brittany Spencer is a multi-platform journalist with CBC P.E.I. Email: brittany.spencer@cbc.ca

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