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Burn Bans, Permits and By-Laws

The current burn index is: moderate

current burn ban index showing moderate risk

Open air burning

Kawartha Lakes By-Law 2016-110 outlines all open air burning regulations in the City. You must meet these requirements when burning:

  • fires cannot be lit during burn bans
  • fires cannot be lit during smog alerts
  • weather conditions must be good for clearing smoke
  • fires may not be lit when wind causes unsafe conditions
  • fires must be supervised by an adult at all times
  • fires must be fully extinguished at the completion of a burn event
  • equipment for controlling and extinguishing fires must be available at the burn location
  • clean dry wood is the only material that may be burned
  • painted wood, leaves, grass clippings and other materials may not be burned
  • flying lanterns may not be sold or used within the City

If all of the above requirements are met and the fire is no larger than 60 cm in diameter you will not need a burn permit. The fire area must be at least 15 m from any buildings including sheds or detached garages and 5 m from trees, brush piles and combustible materials.

Burn permits

There are different types of permits for open air burning. You must get permits with "special" in the title through the Fire Prevention Division. You can get all other permits by visiting your nearest Municipal Service Centre, library branch or fire station.

All burn events must be conducted at least 5 m from trees, brush piles or any other combustible materials. The fire area must be at least 15 m from any buildings including sheds and detached garages. Some types of permits may require the Fire Service to conduct a site visit. It can take up to seven business days for you to receive a site visit.

Regular burn permit

Cost: $10.50

  • required for fires up to 1 m3
  • valid for one burn event

Annual regular burn permit 

Cost: $52.50

  • required for fires up to 1 m3
  • valid until December 31 of the year issued

Special burn permit

Cost: $21

  • required for fires larger than 1 m3
  • valid for one burn event
  • special provisions for containment and control may be required
  • a site visit may be required

Long term special burn permit

Cost: $41

  • required for fires larger than 1 m3
  • valid for multiple burn events held during a specific time frame
  • special provisions for containment and control may be required
  • a site visit may be required

Agricultural burn permit

Cost: $21

  • required for burns on farm properties that are part of normal farm practices
  • valid until December 31 of the year issued
  • maximum burn size of 3 m by 3 m
  • burns must be at least 50 m away from buildings and 25 m away from trees, fences, brush piles or other combustible materials

Agricultural special burn permit 

Cost: $42

  • required for burns on farm properties that are part of normal farm practices
  • maximum burn size of 3 m by 3 m
  • burns must be at least 50 m away from buildings and 25 m away from trees, fences, brush piles or other combustible materials
  • a site visit may be required

Campgrounds, trailer parks and tourist camps 

If you own a campground, trailer park or tourist camp you must get an annual permit for campfires within your facility. You can do this by contacting the City Licensing Officer.

Burn barrels

Burn barrels are permitted under the following conditions:

  • burn barrel is not used in a built up area
  • barrel must be constructed of metal and be in good condition
  • a heavy duty screen with mesh not greater than 7 mm is placed on top of the barrel
  • holes must be punched in the side of the barrel
  • steel rods or pipe must be placed through the holes to hold burning material up and allow a fast burn
  • the ground must be cleared and free of vegetation in a 2 m radius around the barrel
  • draft holes at the bottom of the barrel are no larger than 2.5 cm in diameter

Fireworks

You need a permit to sell fireworks and operate a fireworks show within Kawartha Lakes as part of Firework By-Law 2007-236. You do not need a permit to use consumer fireworks. Requirements to follow when using consumer fireworks include:

  • children shall not discharge fireworks
  • children may us a sparkler under the supervision of an adult
  • fireworks may not be discharged into any motor vehicle, building or structure
  • you must get written permission from the owner to discharge fireworks on property you do not own
  • fireworks shall be discharged a minimum of 30 m from any structure or property line
  • fireworks may not be discharged closer than 100 m from a church, school, residential care facility or place where explosives are sold or stored
  • fireworks may not be discharged during a burn ban
  • fireworks shall be discharged in accordance with the manufacturer's directions
  • fireworks are not to be discharged on municipal lands without authorization

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