With cottage and camping season upon us, and the headlines of wildfire in the news, it is important to remember that wildfires destroy an average of 200,000 hectares of forested land each year in Ontario. Here are some tips to help protect our wildlands from the devastation of fire:
Always check for local Municipal or Ministry of Natural Resources restrictions before having campfires. When a restricted fire zone order is implemented, no outdoor fires are permitted.
Build your campfire on bare soil or exposed rock, well sheltered from wind.
Keep a shovel and pail of water on hand to control and/or extinguish the fire. Campfires should never be left unattended and must be thoroughly extinguished before leaving the site.
Extinguish cigarette butts by dousing them in water or crushing them thoroughly in soil or on bare rock. Never discard a burning cigarette in the bush or from the window of a moving vehicle.
Remember that portable generators, stoves and lanterns all generate heat. They should always be kept away from combustibles and allowed to cool before refuelling.