Ottawa Fire Services implements citywide ban on open air burning

Having gone into effect at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 8th, the Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) has implemented a ban on open air burning across the City of Ottawa.

Ottawa residents are reminded that all open air fires are prohibited for the duration of a ban. Properties that have an Open Air Fire Permit are not exempt. Agricultural burns, brush pile burns, campfires, and outdoor wood-burning fireplaces are all included in the ban. OFS states that, during the ban, there will be zero tolerance enforcement.

Devices which do not require a permit (such as propane, ethanol, and outdoor natural gas fireplaces and barbecues) are not included in the ban. Residents should always follow the manufacturer’s specifications when using such devices to ensure safe clearances and operation.

Open-air fire bans are implemented by OFS based on environmental conditions. Hot, dry conditions – such as what we are currently experiencing – increase the risk of the rapid spread of uncontrolled fire due to grass and brush burning. Additionally, the current heat and humidity pose a danger of heat exhaustion in crews who would be tasked with attacking an out-of-control fire.

The fire ban will remain in place until lower temperatures and more precipitation allow conditions to improve, decreasing the risk of fire spreading uncontrollably.

To reduce the risk of fire around the home, residents are encouraged to take advantage of weekly yard waste collection and use the following tips to prevent grass and brush fires:

  • Clear all combustible materials such as tree limbs, leaves, and other dry materials away from buildings and propane tanks.
  • Keep barbecue propane tanks at least three metres from buildings.
  • Wood piles should be stored a safe distance from your home.
  • Trees should be pruned to create a good vertical separation from the ground.
  • Clear out any accumulated dry or dead debris from your property.

In addition to the precautions outlined above, consider that carelessly discarded cigarettes continue to be a major cause of grass fires during dry periods. Smokers are reminded to use care when butting out cigarettes, and to not throw lit cigarettes out of vehicle windows.

The OFS thanks City of Ottawa residents for their patience and cooperation in this matter, and appreciates your assistance in preventing dangerous fires.


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