Deputy fire chief warning against grass fires, saying they put firefighters in extra danger amid COVID-19
No burning permits being issued due to COVID-19
The deputy chief of the North River Fire Department is urging people to resist the temptation to burn brush or debris around their properties Easter weekend.
With people being at home because of COVID-19 restrictions, Dean Smith said he's concerned there will be a lot of grass fire calls.
"We're moving into what we call in fire services the 'grass fire season,'" he said.
"There's just some concern there with people being around home and not having as many things to keep themselves occupied with that they may be thinking of burning that pile of brush or that dead piece of grass that's there."
Smith said burning grass is not essential, let alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also noted that Islanders need a permit to burn grasses, leaves, branches and other wood-related waste outdoors between March 15 and Nov. 30., and those are not being issued now due to COVID-19.
Smith said calls for grass fires put an extra strain on firefighters who are also trying to practise physical distancing. It also increases the firefighters' workload because they do extra cleaning of the equipment between each call.
COVID-19: What you need to know
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.
Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.
What should I do if I feel sick?
Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.
How can I protect myself?
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.
- Practise physical distancing.
More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
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With files from Angela Walker