Anyone on mainland Nova Scotia who wants to burn brush within 305 metres (1,000 feet) of the woods will require a provincial burning permit beginning Sunday, April 1. “We had less snow than usual in many parts of the province this winter, and that can put our forests at additional risk for spring fires,” said Natural Resources Minister David Morse. “With that in mind, we have put this safety measure in place a little earlier than usual in some counties.” The April 1 permit requirement does not apply in Cape Breton. Higher snowfall amounts in that area mean that property owners will not require their burning permits until April 15. Starting a fire without a permit can result in a fine of up to $500, six months in jail, or both. The fire season is expected to last provincewide until October. Landowners should also contact their municipal government office to see if any additional permits are required in their region. More information on provincial burning permits is available at local Department of Natural Resources offices. Forest fires can be reported by calling 911 or toll-free at 1-800-565-2224.