Open-air burning banned in town

Staff

Fort Frances Fire Chief Tyler Moffitt has prohibited the burning of all brush and wood piles, fields, leaves, and grass within town limits from April 1-Oct. 31.
Under municipal Bylaw 27/12 (the open air burning bylaw), residents require a fire permit for any open-air burning associated with burning wood, brush, leaves, and grass.
But the Fire Code, Ontario Regulation 213/07, as amended, and Bylaw 27/12 gives the fire chief the authority to not approve any open-air burning, as well as to cancel all previously-issued burning permits.
“I have decided to prohibit the burning of all brush and wood piles, fields, leaves, and grass from April 1-Oct. 31, which is the official fire season, so to provide a stricter standard for our community,” Chief Moffitt told the Times yesterday.
The City of Dryden has had this in its actual Open Air Burning bylaw since 1999, he noted.
As well, there are other communities throughout Ontario where you cannot burn at all.
“It is new for this year, and the Fire Code does allow me the authority to not approve any open-air burning and cancel all previously-issued burning permits,” Chief Moffitt said.
“As well, I will be looking to incorporate this new stricter standard, as well as other best practices, in a new updated open-air burning bylaw in the near future,” he added.
Some burning still is permitted in the Town of Fort Frances, as covered in Bylaw 27/12 under Section 4, which reads as follows:
•4.1 A small, confined fire used to cook food on a grill or a barbecue, supervised at all times, shall not be deemed to require a permit fire for the purposes of this bylaw;
•4.2 A small, confined fire used for recreational purposes, less than one metre (39 inches) in diameter, less than one metre (39 inches) in height, and supervised at all times, shall not be deemed to require a permit for the purposes of this bylaw (these fires must be confined in a fire pit or fire ring);
•4.3 Outdoor fireplace with dimensions less than one metre (39 inches) in diameter, less than one metre (39 inches) in height, and supervised at all times, shall not be deemed to require a permit for the purposes of this bylaw (these items must be located on a non-combustible surface extending beyond the unit to a dimension equal to the height of the unit);
•4.4 While being exempted from permits in clauses 4.1 and 4.2, any person burning in the Town of Fort Frances shall be responsible to burn in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw in sections 6, 7, and 8, if they are not specifically identified in this section;
•4.5 Persons burning for the purposes of cooking or recreation are exempted from the time limitations defined in section 7.5 of this bylaw; and
•4.6 All fires must be built using clean, dry wood and uncontaminated materials (construction products and waste materials cannot be used as a fuel source for fires and must be disposed of in the landfill).
Commercial fire logs also are an acceptable fuel source.
Once Nov. 1 arrives, Chief Moffitt may allow burning of all brush and wood piles, fields, leaves, and grass up to March 31.
However, residents still will require a fire permit during that time frame.
Visit www.fortfrances.ca, then click on “Residents” to access the Fire & Rescue Service web page and Bylaw 27/12.