Forget about sitting around an evening backyard campfire this spring sipping a cold one.
The Province has slapped a fire restriction over all of northern Ontario because of the coronavirus crisis.
"In order to ensure public safety and well-being during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario will be declaring a Restricted Fire Zone for the entire fire region of the province outlined in this pdf map, effective April 3," says a news release.
The Restricted Fire Zone will be in effect until further notice.
"This is a proactive action to reduce the number of preventable human-caused fires and reduce the risk of wildfires impacting the public," it says
This means you cannot have an outdoor fire period, including the burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or fire pit.
Portable gas stoves may still be used but must be handled with extreme care. The stove must be at least 1 metre (3 ft) away from any flammable material.
Meanwhile, effective immediately North Bay issued a fire ban on all outdoor burning, confirmed Fire Chief Jason Whiteley.
"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."
This restriction will remain in place until Ontario's ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you break the law you could get:
- a fine up to $25,000
- 3 months in jail
- financial responsibility for any costs incurred in fighting a forest fire
You can learn about the rules under a Restricted Fire Zone at ontario.ca/page/outdoor-fire-restrictions.
To see a map of Ontario’s fire region, visit ontario.ca/forestfires
More information about Restricted Fire Zones can be found here.
For a more detailed boundary of the Restricted Fire Zone, consult the interactive fire map as of April 3, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.