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Kawartha Lakes Fire Department lifts total burn ban effective 9am July 12

A family in the camping in the woods roasting marshmellows over a small open fire

A family in the camping in the woods roasting marshmellows over a small open fire

Kawartha Lakes – Kawartha Lakes Fire Department lifts total burn ban effective of 9am on Wednesday July 12.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) lifted the Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) as of 4pm on Tuesday July 11.

The MNRF’s RFZ had been in place since June 9, 2023 across the entire Fire Region of Ontario due to extreme forest fire conditions. In support of the MNRF, and to reduce the strain on forest firefighting resources, the municipal burn ban in Kawartha Lakes had remained in place since June 9, 2023.

With the lifting of the municipal burn ban, the Kawartha Lakes Fire Department has set the burn hazard index rating to high. While the burn hazard index is set to high, open-air fires using extreme caution are allowed in the municipality.

“The Kawartha Lakes Fire Department would like to thank the public for their continued patience and for doing their part to help prevent forest fires and keep our communities safe,” said Fire Chief Terry Jones.

The province will continue to assess forest fire hazard conditions and an RFZ designation may be reinstated in higher risk areas in the future if the fire hazard and fire activity warrants.

A MNRF RFZ and a municipal fire ban can be in place at the same time, or separately. It is important that the public check with their local municipality as they may still have local fire bans or fire restrictions in place.

Please note that the road side burn hazard index signs will be updated throughout the remainder of the week, into next week. For the most up-to-date burn hazard index information residents are encouraged to visit our Burn Bans, Permits and By-Laws page or to call our automated messaging service at 1-888-882-2225 ext. 8.

What is open-air burning?

Open burning or open-air burning means any fire or burning practice that is conducted outside a building and includes but is not limited to, small confined fires (e.g. campfires) and large confined fires, fires in burn barrels, air curtain incinerators, outdoor recreational fireplaces (e.g. fire pits, fire bowls, fire rings, chimineas, etc.), prescribed burning, construction site and demolition site fires.

When open-air burning you must meet these requirements:

  • Fires cannot be lit during burn bans.
  • Fires cannot be lit during the month of April; this annual burn ban may be extended due to dry weather conditions.
  • 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 or treated wood, leaves, grass clippings, garbage and other materials may not be burned.
  • Flying lanterns may not be sold or used within the municipality.

Under Section 8.03 of By-Law 2016-110, any person who sets an open fire in the city assumes full responsibility for fire control and may be liable for costs incurred by the Fire Department, including the costs of the personnel and equipment as authorized and set out in the City Fees By-law.

To learn more about open-air burning or to check the most up-to-date burn hazard index, visit our Burn Bans, Permits and By-Laws page.

To obtain an Open Air Burning Permit, visit a Municipal Service Centre or complete the Burn Permit Application Online Form 

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