The 2022 forest fire season in New Brunswick begins on Monday, April 18 and officials are urging residents to be aware of the rules for outdoor burning.

The Department of Natural Resources says anyone igniting a Category 1 fire—that is, a fire with a diameter of three metres or less—should ensure burning is allowed in that area. You can do this by calling the toll-free “burn line” at 1-866-458-8080 or by visiting the department's website.

Other types of fires—Category 2, 3 and 4 fires require a written permit. Applications are available at the department’s district offices.

Burning grass is considered a Category 4 fire. People who deem it necessary to burn grass must submit a written burn plan to the department, have an inspection beforehand, and then receive a written permit.

Cities, towns and some villages have bylaws that restrict burning. It is the responsibility of the public to understand and follow these bylaws.

Under the province’s Forest Fires Act, if you ignite a fire, you are responsible for it. If your fire gets out of control, you may be liable for the cost of fighting the fire and/or any damage to another person’s property. In addition, there may be penalties and/or fines for violating burning regulations.

Last year, 180 fires burned 380 hectares of forest land in New Brunswick. Forest land is defined as any land outside the boundaries of a city or town, not cultivated for agricultural purposes, where trees, shrubs, plants or grass are growing. It also includes blueberry fields and peat bogs.

Officials say the 2022 forest fire season runs until October 31.

Restrictions for areas where burning is regulated by the province will be updated at 2 p.m. each day. You can find current burning restrictions and the Provincial Forest Fire Summary online.

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