FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development has closed all Crown land to industrial and recreational activities immediately due to extremely dry conditions across New Brunswick.

“The fire hazard in our province is extreme,” said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “The hazard levels in some regions of the province are the highest we have ever seen.”

“Our forests are tinder dry and right now even the smallest spark could ignite a major wildfire that could threaten people's homes and destroy wildlife habitat,” said Holland. “Even the heat coming off the bottom of a vehicle while you are driving through the woods could ignite a blade of grass.”

The public is also strongly encouraged to stay out of the woods on private land as well.

Dry conditions this spring have resulted in a busy forest fire season. So far this year, a total of 263 wildfires have burned more than 1,141 hectares of forest land. The 10-year average to this date is 158 wildfires and 197 hectares.

Current burning restrictions and the Provincial Forest Fire Summary are updated daily at 2 p.m. and is available online.