Open air burning

The Open Air Burning By-law regulates when, where and how you can have outdoor fires. Following these regulations ensures you do not create a nuisance for neighbours.

When conducting any open air burning, ensure that it does not create a nuisance, the fire is constantly attended and a simple means of extinguishment is available while the fire is burning.

Which fires require permits?

All open air fires that are greater than 46 cm long by 46 cm wide by 30 cm high. Permits for open air fires can be obtained at Fire Headquarters, 400 Horton Street East between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. by completing a permit application and providing the associated fees. Identification such as a driver’s license is required.

Any person that sets any open air fire is required to,

  •  allow an Officer, at any reasonable time, to inspect the location or proposed location of the fire 
  • be the legal property owner or have written owner consent
  • only burn commercially produced charcoal, briquettes, or clean, dry seasoned wood 
  • have a suitable means of extinguishment available while the fire is burning 
  • ensure it does not create a nuisance 
  • ensure it is constantly attended 
  • completely extinguish the fire before leaving the burn site 
  • prevent potential spread of fire

Outdoor fire containers

As per the Open Air Burning By-law,  a person may set a fire in an outdoor fire container between 4:00 PM and midnight, if:

  • the fire container is made from noncombustible material
  • the fire is no larger than 46 cm wide by 46 cm long by 30 cm high
  • it is at least 4 m from any building, structure, property line, tree, hedge, fence, roadway, overhead wire or other combustible article;
  • the fire container is placed on a noncombustible surface that extends beyond the container at least as far as the container is high.

Which fires do not require permits?

  • Those set in manufactured outdoor fire container (chimineas, metal tubs, fire pits and outdoor brick fireplaces)
  • Cooking fires (Barbecues used to cook food are allowable at all times as this By-law does not apply)
  • Small fires (less than 46 cm long by 46 cm wide by 30 cm high) within a non-combustible fire container

Open air burning is not permitted when:

  • winds exceed 15 km/h
  • it is raining or foggy
  • a smog day has been declared

Open burning violations

When a complaint is received regarding open burning, a Fire Crew will respond to inspect the burning conditions. If you are found to be violating the terms of the Open Burning By-law, an order to extinguish and violation notice will be issued. A subsequent response that is found to be violating the by-law will result in a violation fee of $254.25. You may also be fined subject to fine amounts set out in the by-law.

If you have a complaint or concern regarding open burning, please contact our non-emergency communications line at 519-661-5615.

Last modified:Monday, June 05, 2023