Fire restrictions not needed 'at this time', ministry says
CBC News

Heading into the second COVID-19 summer in northern Ontario, there are no restrictions on lighting a campfire or burning brush.

Last spring, the provincial government brought in a restricted fire zone as part of its pandemic response.

The fire information officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says health and safety protocols have become well-established in the past year.

"Last year was unprecedented," Isabelle Chenard said. "It did present new challenges as this pandemic added a new level of risk for firefighters, for wildland fire management staff and communities threatened by fires."

With health and safety protocols around COVID-19 now well established, she says, "the restricted fire zone is not necessary at this time."

Those health and safety protocols include dividing forest fire crews into cohorts that always work together. 

Chenard says there have been slightly more forest fires in northeastern Ontario this spring compared with last year, but still lower than the 10-year average, she said.


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