As wildfires continue to burn in Ontario and Quebec, fire bans have been issues in a handful of cities and townships in the Greater Toronto Area. Here’s what to know.
Air Quality across Ontario, especially here in the southern part of the province, has been some of the “worst” for these regions in recent times, according to The Weather Network. As winds shift, the dense smoke makes its way into the GTA and other parts of southern Ontario, leaving an almost orange haze in its tracks. And according to Environment Canada, “high levels of air pollution have developed due to smoke from forest fires.”
This week, major cities such as Toronto, Brampton, and Markham have issued fire bans.
Here are the current municipalities in the GTA that have issued open-air fire bans due to forest fires and dry conditions in Ontario:
REMINDER: Open air burning is not permitted in Toronto. Exceptions require a permit. Open air burning includes bonfires, fire pits, sky lanterns and the use of various types of outdoor fireplaces (aka ‘Chiminea’). Know the law. Info: https://t.co/s4JhntiSfb Stay safe. #Toronto pic.twitter.com/RI1HOVnDKm
— Toronto Fire Services (@Toronto_Fire) June 8, 2023
Toronto Fire Services issued a tweet on June 8th, reminding residents that open-air burning is not allowed unless they have a permit. This includes bonfires, fire pits, sky lanterns, and the use of various types of outdoor fireplaces (“Chiminea”). “Although outdoor fireplaces can be purchased at retail outlets throughout the city, it does not mean open-air burning is permitted for their use,” states the city.
Brampton Fire & Emergency Services issues a tweet stating that they do not allow for open-air burning without a permit. “Due to the current dry conditions, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services is not currently issuing burn permits.” They do caution solid fuel or fuel-fired BBQ users if they plan to use their appliances at this time.
🚫🔥 A fire ban is now in effect in #Aurora and #Newmarket. Central York Fire Services (CYFS) and local Fire Chiefs in York Region have set the ban due to hot and dry weather, the current forest fire situation and deteriorating air quality.
— CYFS (@CentralYorkFire) June 7, 2023
A fire ban is now in effect for Newmarket, according to Central York Fire Services and local Fire Chiefs in York Region. The fire band has been set “due to hot and dry weather, the current forest fire situation, and deteriorating air quality,” according to CYFS. This also applies to the town of Aurora.
The City states that burning of any kind is not permitted. Residents can still use their BBQs with caution.
According to the Town of Caledon, as of June 2nd, 2023 the Fire Hazard Rating for Caledon has been raised to Extreme therefore a temporary open air fire ban is now in effect in the Town of Caledon until further notice. This ban also applies to all agricultural, open-air fires and recreational fires.
Due to unseasonably dry and hot conditions, and out of an abundance of caution, Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service is issuing a total fire ban effective immediately. Burning of any kind is not permitted within the city of Vaughan. Learn more: https://t.co/rBhOedofld pic.twitter.com/E24D8H1unN
— City of Vaughan (@City_of_Vaughan) June 6, 2023
“Due to unseasonably dry and hot conditions, and out of an abundance of caution, Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service is issuing a total fire ban effective immediately. Burning of any kind is not permitted within the city of Vaughan,” states a tweet by the city. The temporary ban is in effect as of June 6, 2023 and will for 30 days or until conditions improve. That means existing fire permits are cancelled and new ones will not be issued.
At this time, the City of Vaughan has declared that recreational burning (bonfires, campfires, open fire pits using wood or debris) and burning of agricultural “debris or foliage” are not allowed. BBQ’s and grills, gas fire pits, and chimineas are allowed at this time.
🚫🔥BURN BAN IN EFFECT 🔥🚫
Due to hot and dry conditions, a City-wide burn ban is in effect immediately. All open-air burning permits are suspended until further notice, and no outdoor burning is allowed. pic.twitter.com/0uIwyeU0PH
— Richmond Hill Fire (@RHFES) June 7, 2023
A burn ban is in effect for Richmond Hill. “Effective immediately, a City-wide ban on all open-air burning has been issued by Richmond Hill Fire and Emergency Services. Open-air burning applications will continue to be received, however, permits will not be issued until the burn ban is lifted,” states the city.
“As of June 2, 2023, we have paused the issuance of new Open Air Fire Permits due to extreme drought conditions,” declared the City of Markham. “With the current Environment Canada Special Air Quality Statement in effect, all current Open Air Fire Permits have been suspended and will not be reactivated until both drought conditions and air quality index improve.”
All open-air fires like fire pits, fire drums, and chimineas (even with a lid), require a Permit.
Stay safe out there, Toronto.