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NS government photo of Barrington Lake fire

Taking steps to help prevent wildfires in your own backyard

By Tara Clow Jun 1, 2023 | 1:26 PM

As Nova Scotia wildfires continue to burn out of control, you may be wondering if the same thing could happen here in Southeast New Brunswick.

Riverview Fire Chief Robin True says, “Absolutely, there’s a lot of potential here in the Southeast. We have the same dry conditions and we have a lot of forested land and a lot of areas where the forest comes into contact with home. So we call that the wildland-urban interface. ”

He recommends taking a look at your home and its surroundings, “Public safety is something that people need to start thinking about  Consider if a wildland fire was approaching, what would cause problems? Is there a stand of softwood trees that are maybe too close to the house or do you have softwood such as cedar hedges close to your home? Those clearances are really important in terms of a break between the forest and your home.”

He also recommends thinking about planning an escape from your home to an area of safety.

“When we think about the layout of your property, having your driveway cleared back so that you don’t have fire around that avenue of escape. Also clearing back those clearances on longer driveways, for example, so that you can get out of your property and get to an area of safety,” True adds.

It’s day five of fighting fires in Tantallon, Nova Scotia. Over 150 homes have been destroyed in that region by wildfires.

Meantime, an 18, 000-hectare fire in Shelburne County, the largest fire ever in Nova Scotia, has destroyed 50 homes or cottages.

In New Brunswick, firefighters battled a 540-hectare blaze earlier this week near Saint Andrews.  It is expected firefighters will have to continue monitoring hot spots for weeks to come.

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