Residents encouraged to avoid outdoor fires as warm temperatures continue across N.L.

The outdoor fire ban on P.E.I. was originally put in place May 30.
Forestry officials in Newfoundland and Labrador are advising against starting open or outdoor fires as high temperatures and increased wildfire risks continue across the province. (Matt Duguid/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador's forestry department is advising against setting outdoor fires as high temperatures and increased wildfire risks continue across much of the province.

All of the island of Newfoundland is under some form of fire hazard index warning, from moderate to extreme risk.The areas under extreme risk are between Eastport and Gander, western Newfoundland from Steady Brook to Cowhead and from Gullbridge north to Fleur de Lys.

Southeastern Labrador is also under extreme risk.

There are currently seven wildfires burning in Labrador, with the department saying in an advisory Wednesday evening that crews continue work to suppress them. All of the province's four water bombers are fighting the fires, along with five helicopters and 38 ground crew members.

Humidex values for parts of Labrador neared 37 C on Wednesday, with overnight lows in areas like Happy Valley-Goose Bay only expected to fall to 22 C.

A heat warning is also in effect for central and western Newfoundland spanning Wednesday into Thursday, where humidex levels could reach as high as 41 C on Thursday — particularly across northeastern Newfoundland from Green Bay to Terra Nova, according to Environment Canada.

Open and outdoor fires are not permitted in areas where the fire hazard index is very high or extreme, the advisory said. Burning permits are also invalid in areas where there is a high, very high or extreme hazard warning.

The advisory said anyone operating off-road vehicles should be cautious travelling in grassy and forest areas, and recommended using a screening or baffling device to limit sparks along with carrying a fire extinguisher.

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