Changes to the Forest Fires Prevention Act in 1996 simplified the regulation and use of fire by the public therefore reducing the number of permits required for burning. These regulations are in effect for the duration of the Fire Season, which is from April 1st to October 31st each year.
During the Fire Season, you DO NOT require a fire permit providing you follow these guidelines:
- The fire is started no sooner than 7 p.m. and extinguished at 7:00 a.m. or earlier
- The piled material to be burned is less than two metres high and less than two metres in diameter
- If burning grass or leaves, the total area to be burned does not exceed one hectare and the length of the flaming edge does not exceed 30 meters.
The Forest Fires Prevention Act also stipulates:
- A responsible person must tend the fire until it is extinguished and have adequate tools or water to contain the fire
- The fire must be two metres away from any flammable material.
You should always be aware of your local municipal burning regulations as they may be stricter that the Forest Fires Prevention Act regulation.
The safest way to burn is in an incinerator.
A permit is not required for incinerators providing they are:
- A closed non‐combustible device
- At least five metres from any forest and at least two metres from flammable material
- Covered by a screen with mesh less than fire millimeters in size
- Tended by a responsible person until the fire is out.
Fires for cooking or warmth may be started anytime during the fire season providing:
- The site of the fire is bare rock or non‐combustible material
- The fire is at least one metre from any flammable material
- The space above the fire is at least three metres from vegetation
- The fire does not exceed one metre in height and one metre in diameter.
Restricted Fire Zone
If the fire hazard becomes extreme, the Minister of Natural Resources may declare a Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ). You will hear these announcements on your local radio and television stations. When a RFZ is in effect, no open air burning is allowed. This includes campfires that are not in an approved organized campground.
The municipalities may prohibit all open air burning before the MNR implements a Restricted Fire Zone.
You should always check with your local municipality before starting a fire.