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Be careful with fires this long weekend asks Fire Department

Where North Bay Fire and Emergency Services responds to or inspects an open-air fire that is not in compliance, a set fine may be imposed as well as a fee of $410/hr for each fire truck that responds
Camp fire
Stock photo

The Victoria Day long weekend is when many people open cottages and enjoy campfires.

With the warm weather upon us, North Bay Fire and Emergency Services are receiving numerous requests about Recreational Open Air Burning Permits.

Open air burning is permitted inside our urban and rural areas but only if specific criteria are met including property size, device specifications, adherence to fire safety rules and with a valid burning permit. Recreational open-air burn permits can be purchased at City Hall, Customer Service for $26.

Recreational Open Air Burn Permit Requirements:

  • Commercially manufactured device with maximum footprint 24” x 24” and maximum volume 9 square feet.
  • Burn area must be at least 20’ from each property line and at least 6.5’ from any combustible structure or object including buildings, fences, trees etc.
  • Burn shall be on a non-combustible surface or if on a combustible surface such as a wooden or composite deck it must sit on a course of brick and a metal sheet that extends 2” from the base.
  • Not on a balcony or rooftop and not on a deck situated above the first storey.
  • Burning only between the hours of 7:30 pm and 1:00 am
  • Have a method on hand to extinguish the fire (water etc)
  • Burning by a competent adult only and always attended
  • Report out of control fires immediately
  • Be respectful of neighbours
  • Burn only clean, dry seasoned wood or charcoal
  • Do not burn when wind conditions may cause smoke to be a nuisance to your neighbours (wind less than 15 km/hr)

Refusal to comply with these conditions or where an Enforcement Officer has a safety concern, the Enforcement Officer may immediately suspend or revoke the Permit.  Where North Bay Fire and Emergency Services responds to or inspects an open-air fire that is not in compliance, a set fine may be imposed as well as a fee of $410/hr for each fire truck that responds.

As well, North Bay Fire & Emergency Services would like to provide a few pointers to the die-hard campers and cottage goers as well as for the safe use of fireworks. 

At the Cottage

  • Pack a supply of batteries for smoke and CO alarms and/or replacement alarms for older models.  Remember, the low battery warning may have sounded during the winter months leaving the alarm inoperable;
  • check burners and exhaust systems of all appliances for blockages or obstructions such as insects, rodent nests, rust fragments or other debris that could lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide;
  • have propane or gas-fired appliances such as stoves, refrigerators and heaters inspected and/or repaired by a TSSA certified technician;
  • use fuel burning space heaters according to the manufactures instructions and only in well ventilated areas.  Every year, unsuspecting campers are seriously injured or killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning as the result of improper use;
  • clean your barbecue and check for any fuel leaks by applying a 50/50 solution of water and dish soap and keep in mind barbeques are approved for outdoor use only.     

Around the Campsite

  • Ensure open-fires are permitted by local and provincial authorities. Clean up the fire pit and cut back any branches or brush that may have grown too close; and
  • use only paper or kindling when starting a fire at your campsite. Be sure the fire is in a safe, open area, well away from flammables and other natural combustibles;
  • Never leave a fire unattended.


* to minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the fire service does not recommend family firework displays.  If you choose to have such a display…

  • Ensure the adult in charge has read and follows the directions on the fireworks package;
  • discharge fireworks away from buildings, trees and dry grass;
  • keep onlookers a safe distance away and only discharge if wind conditions do not create a hazard;
  • light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground;
  • have a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging, for dud fireworks wait 30 minutes then soak them in a bucket of water;
  • keep sparklers away from children.  Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and severe burns.