What you need to know about the recent Ontario fire ban?

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources announced a province-wide fire ban on Thursday, April the 2nd 2020. Although it was announced as provide-wide, the actual ban does not apply for the entire province. As of yesterday, there was some confusion around the announcement, particularly around who should be and should not be concerned about the ban.

1) Which areas does the fire ban actually apply to?

The ban announced by the province applies only for areas from Muskoka to Northern Ontario. Southern Ontario is exempted from the fire ban. However, there are municipalities who are announcing their own bans. City of London announced a fire ban effective April 1. Bruce County has implemented a fire ban as well.

Areas that fall under the current fire restriction.
Source: Ontario gov

2) When is it effective from? And how long the ban will continue?

The ban went into effect on Friday, 3rd April 2020. The ministry announced that the restrictions will remain in place until the province’s ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the current COVID-19 outbreak.

3) What’s the reason behind the ban?

The restrictions were announced to ensure that the province’s emergency response resources are freed up and ready to be deployed towards the COVID-19 efforts.

“During this very challenging time when we are fighting the spread of the virus, our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of Ontario. We are putting these important preventative measures in place now to ensure that our emergency responders are able to focus their efforts where they are needed most.” stated John Yakabuski, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

4) What you can and cannot do?

You cannot

  • have campfires (with some exceptions in organized campgrounds and parks)
  • burn grass or woody debris
  • use burn barrels

You can

  • use the following for either cooking or for warmth
    • gas stove
    • propane stove
    • portable liquid fuel or gas stove that can be turned off with ease

*Charcoal & wood stoves can only be used in a property you own or legally stay (rent).

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