Bruce County Fire Chiefs have lifted the outdoor burning ban as of 4:00 pm on Thursday, May 14, 2020. The Fire Ban was put in place on April 3, 2020 in an effort to avoid additional demands on emergency services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the Fire Ban for Northern Bruce Peninsula and South Bruce Peninsula as issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources remains in full effect at this time. Residents and visitors to the Bruce Peninsula should continue to monitor announcements from the Province regarding the lifting of the Fire Ban for Northern Ontario.
Fire departments across Bruce County now have additional PPE supplies and enhanced operating procedures in place to keep firefighters as safe as possible when they are responding to emergency calls.
“The Fire Ban was a safety precaution put in place to protect our volunteer firefighters and their families during a time of uncertainty,” said Bruce County Fire Coordinator Phil Eagleson. “The ban was well respected by residents of Bruce County and was very successful in reducing the number of calls firefighters responded to during the past six weeks.”
In fact, overall fire department responses across the county were reduced by approximately 60% when compared to the same time period last year.
Residents wishing to enjoy a small open-air fire must continue to follow all provincial orders under the authority of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to restrict social gatherings. These changing orders will restrict the number of people gathering at a fire. Please check current restrictions at Ontario.ca/Coronavirus or PublicHealthGreyBruce.on.ca.
Fire departments remind residents of the following open-air burning safety precautions:
- Remove all vegetation and other material that could spread the fire prior to burning
- Burn only clean, dry wood (burning of waste is prohibited)
- Never leave a fire unattended
- Keep the fire on a non-combustible surface and away from other combustibles
- Have an adequate supply of water available to extinguish the fire
While burning, it is the public’s responsibility to ensure that smoke does not interfere with their neighbours’ enjoyment of their properties or their ability to conduct business without disruption. The public is advised to watch where smoke travels and to not burn when there are smog alerts, foggy conditions or wind that will carry smoke in a direction that might disrupt nearby roadways or properties.
“Bruce County municipalities remain in a state of emergency, so it is important that everyone having a fire exercise a heightened awareness of fire safety. If residents do not respect safe burning practices, the Fire Ban may be reinstated,” said Eagleson.
If you have any questions regarding open air burning regulations in your municipality, please contact your local Fire Department.