Fire season officially began in some parts of the province onApril 1 and in the remaining areas on April 15. The season willend Oct. 15. As a result, provincial permits for burning brushare now required. In several areas of the province, municipalities require anadditional municipal permit. Property owners, particularlyresidents of Halifax Regional Municipality, must check with theirmunicipal offices. Fire season is taken seriously by the Department of NaturalResources for the safety and protection of the forest. The datesfor the season are based on legislation and are related toweather patterns, forest conditions, and typical fire activity. During early spring, before our forests green up, 50 per cent offires take place, putting our forests, vegetation and wildlife atrisk. During this time, weather can be deceiving as rain and cooltemperatures can quickly change and dry out woodlands within afew days. “Permits enable us to ensure burning is carried out in aresponsible and controlled manner, yet enable land owners toclean up their properties and reduce the fire hazard,” saidNatural Resources Minister Richard Hurlburt. “Under provincialregulations, permits are required during fire season, making itsafer for all Nova Scotians at a time when the risk of forestfire is greatest.” Last year, Nova Scotia had 272 forest fires which burned 1257hectares (3106 acres). The cost to the Nova Scotia taxpayer was$818,500.