COVID-19 sparks fire ban in Ontario

The government of Ontario has ordered a province wide fire ban.

The new ban overrides any municipal fire bans in place, the province announced Wednesday.

Starting Friday, April 3rd the ban applies to all cottages, private and commercial properties. That includes use of an outdoor fire grate, fire place or fire pit.

“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,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “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.”

Charcoal barbecues are also outlawed due to the bans, as are biomass units using natural burning fuels like sticks or pinecones. Candles are also not permitted as are portable outdoor living gas, propane fire pits, or fire bowls that produce a flame and are set-up outside.

campfire on Rain \lake in Algonquin Park

If you need heat for cooking and warmth, and you’re in a Restricted Fire Zone, you can only use certain equipment (e.g., portable gas or propane stove) if you follow certain rules.

Portable gas/propane/naphtha stoves or barbecues that have a fuel source and control valve are allowed during the respective bans.

You can find a complete set of provincial rules related to outdoor fires in Restricted Fire Zones in:

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