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New Brunswick ends forestry operations in face of severe fire hazard

NB government limits forestry work due to extreme fire conditions
WATCH: The Minister of Energy and Resource Development has instituted a ministerial order to stop a wide array of forestry practices during afternoon and evening hours in light of the high probability of forest fires catching on. Jeremy Keefe has more.

New Brunswick is putting an immediate halt to forestry operations and asking all forest users to be extremely careful in the face of severe fire hazards in the province.

The restriction will include no harvesting, site preparation, forwarding or pre-commercial thinning between the hours of 12 p.m. and 8 p.m.  The moratorium will go into effect at noon on Thursday.

READ MORE: New Brunswick fire crews knock down fire on Miscou Island, evacuation still in effect

“The fire hazard in our province is at the highest level that we have observed in more than 20 years,” said Rick Doucet, Energy and Resource Development Minister, in a press release. “The safety of New Brunswickers is our priority.”

According to a press release, a number of companies voluntarily adopted the measures earlier this week.

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The province is currently closed to all burning, including fires in fire pits and backyard fireplaces.

WATCH: New Brunswick firefighters head west to battle B.C. wildfire

New Brunswick firefighters head west to battle B.C. wildfire
New Brunswick firefighters head west to battle B.C. wildfire

So far this year, a total of 98 wildfires have burned almost 124 hectares of forest land.

At the same point last year, 241 wildfires had consumed more than 224 hectares.