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Forest Fires

In 2021 within Ontario there were 593 forest fires. The ten-year average is 398, these fires burned 770,000 hectares and resulted in 3,400 residents evacuating from their homes.

Friday, April 1st, 2022 was the start of the Ontario fire season. To date this year there have been 119 fires across Ontario. The fire hazard remains low to moderate in both the northeast and northwest regions.

During this time of year, anyone who starts a fire outdoors must take all necessary steps to tend the fire, keep it under control, and make sure the fire is out before leaving the site. A person failing to burn safely could be fined and held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire. The Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario has strict guidelines under the Act.

The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines Natural Resources and Forestry under the Act may restrict the use of open fires in a specific area of the province. It is a temporary measure put in place to prevent human-caused fires when the fire hazard is extreme or when firefighting resources are limited. Click for more information on outdoor fire restrictions. People living in municipalities should check with local fire officials for bylaws on outdoor fires.

Every year, people and property in Ontario are threatened by wildland fires. Many of these fires occur where homes, cottages and subdivisions are built in the wildland-urban interface. FireSmart Canada provides information on how to protect your property from wildland fires, as well as provides guidance on how to conduct a home assessment, management of vegetation around your property and the use of fire-resistant building materials.

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