02/26/2014 12:09 EST | Updated 04/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotians will no longer need permits to burn domestic brush under changes

SHUBENACADIE, N.S. - People in Nova Scotia will no longer need a permit to burn domestic brush and the province's restricted brush burning season will begin two weeks earlier under changes being implemented this year.

Instead of issuing permits, the provincial government will begin posting an online burning restrictions map to inform people when it is safe to burn a pile of brush.

Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill says the map will be updated daily to show green, yellow or red in each county to let Nova Scotians know when it is safe, safe with restrictions or unsafe to burn.

Churchill also announced that restricted brush burning will begin March 15 instead of April 1.

He says the new measures are intended to help reduce the risk of wildfires and will help save the public money as it will cut down on the costs of issuing permits.

The changes only affect brush burning on domestic properties such as woodlots, cottages and fishing camps, and additional burning restrictions may be required where municipal burning bylaws exist.

Industrial brush burning still requires a permit from the Natural Resources Department.