Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill showed off two new fire trucks, today, April 17, as Global Wildfire Awareness Week approaches. “We are ensuring that our capacity to fight wildfires is continuously upgraded,” said Mr. Churchill. The two trucks will replace older vehicles in Cape Breton and Shelburne counties, as part of a fleet of 35 fire-fighting vehicles in 29 Department of Natural Resources depots across the province. Each truck can carry up to 2,200 litres of water and has hundreds of metres of hose. They can draw water from a brook or lake and be refilled onsite by municipal or volunteer fire department pumper trucks. Nova Scotia has hundreds of wildfires each year. They put lives at risk, destroy wildlife habitat, and can cause millions of dollars of damage to forests and property. Mr. Churchill said Wildfire Awareness Week, May 1-7, is a time for families to think about reducing risks and being prepared. “Nova Scotians can develop emergency fire plans to follow in the event of wildfire affecting their neighbourhoods,” he said. Most wildfires, or forest fires, are caused by people setting grassfires or being careless with campfires or smoking materials. The belief that grassfires can improve the health or growth of grass or fields has been scientifically proven to be false. Tips on preparing homes to reduce wildfire risks are available at www.novascotia.ca/natr/forestprotection/wildfire/firecentre/fire-smart.asp . To know when and where it is safe and legal to burn brush in Nova Scotia, visit the province’s burnsafe map at www.novascotia.ca/burnsafe . Wildfire risk season runs to Oct. 15. Brush burning restrictions are in effect during this time.