Provincial officials want you to be prepared as April marks the start of forest fire season.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Ontario Forest will be using Twitter this month to offer tips on how to avoid starting a major forest blaze. Fire Information Officer Isabelle Chenard says as people spend more time near forests, the chance of starting a serious wildfire increases.

Chenard says some of these tips include keeping wood piles at least 10 metres away from buildings on your property and cleaning eaves troughs and roofs of dry leaves and dead branches.  She also suggests using metal or asphalt shingles, which provide more fire resistance for your roof.

Chenard says all residents are responsible for protecting our environment from this type of disaster.

Chenard says while forest fires are a natural part of Ontario’s environment, many are caused by humans and can be devastating to both local forests and properties. Last year, the MNRF recorded 776 forest fires in Ontario, up from the 641 in 2016.

You can follow the MNRF’s forest fire prevention tips on the Ontario Forest Fire Twitter account. You can also check out the Ontario Forest Fires website.

(Written by: James Bowler)