Campfire Safety is Focus of 2nd Annual Wildfire Prevention Week

Archived Release

Campfire Safety is Focus of 2nd Annual Wildfire Prevention Week

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Wildfire Prevention Week: April 17-23 TORONTO, April 18 - The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) have joined forces to make Ontario communities safer by highlighting ways to prevent wildfires during this year's Wildfire Prevention Week. "My ministry has worked closely with the Office of the Fire Marshal to support Wildfire Prevention Week," said Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay. "In the interest of public safety, I strongly encourage everyone to watch for fire hazards and take every precaution to prevent wildfires where they live and play." April 17 to 23, 2005, is Ontario's second annual Wildfire Prevention Week, and the focus for the campaign is Campfire Safety. The MNR and OFM have asked fire services across Ontario to urge communities that could be affected by wildfire to be fire smart with campfires and other recreational fires. "Campfires are the leading cause of preventable wildfires in Ontario," said Bernard Moyle, Fire Marshal of Ontario. "As we enter the camping season, fire chiefs and local fire services are coming together to work with professional educators and the public to promote ways to safely build and extinguish campfires." The MNR and the OFM, with the support of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, have developed a public education package that includes radio and print media public service announcements encouraging campfire safety, lesson plans teaching campfire safety for elementary school teachers to use in classrooms, and posters and fact sheets about campfire safety that local fire services are asked to distribute throughout their communities. "There have been a number of wildfire events across North America in recent years that highlight the devastation of wildfires," said Moyle. "With Ontario having an average of 1,200 wildfires per year, fire departments and forest fire agencies are recognizing the serious risk of wildfire and the potential for enormous loss of property and life." During Wildfire Prevention Week, and throughout the summer, fire services will be encouraged to participate in activities to reach all members in their communities - from primary school children to adults - with campfire safety messages. If you are interested in getting involved in Wildfire Prevention Week or would like copies of campfire safety educational materials, contact your local fire department, the MNR or the OFM.For further information: Ginette Albert, Minister Ramsay's Office, (416) 314-2212; Norma Griffin, Ministry of Natural Resources, (705) 945-5797; Chris Slosser, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3120