Update: Dry conditions, fire risk see local municipalities issuing burn bans

Kingstonist file image.

UPDATE (Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2023):

The City of Kingston has lifted the open-air burn ban that was put in place on Monday, Jun. 5, 2023. As of 8 a.m. this morning, there are no burning restrictions within the city.

“While conditions no longer require a ban, a free open-air fire permit is required for fires and can be obtained by visiting the City of Kingston website,” the City said in a media release dated Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2023.

Original article (Monday, Jun. 5, 2023):

The City of Kingston, as well as North, South and Central Frontenac Townships have declared burn bans due to dry conditions and increased forest fire risk.

The local burn bans have been implemented less than 24 hours after a forest fire broke out on Sunday, Jun. 4, 2023, and reached approximately 50 hectares in size (according to the Greater Madawaska Township) in the Centennial Lake area just north of North Frontenac Township. According to retrospective data, there has been no precipitation in the Kingston area since May 24, 2023.

A Special Air Quality Statement is also in effect in the region due to smoke from forest fires in Ontario and Quebec. Poor air quality is expected to continue into tomorrow, Tuesday, Jun. 6, 2023.

The City of Kingston, as well as North and Central Frontenac, are under a total burn ban, whereas South Frontenac Township is currently under a level one fire ban. The total open-air burn ban within the City of Kingston has been put in as of 1 p.m. Monday, Jun. 5. The ban applies to the entire municipality and will be enforced, effective immediately, the City stated. The ban will remain in place until Kingston Fire and Rescue deems it is no longer needed. 

According to the City, while the ban is in effect the following is prohibited:  

  • Setting off fireworks.  
  • All open air fires, including campfires, outdoor appliance aires, agricultural fires and brush fires. 

City residents may still use propane and natural gas appliances, smokers, barbeques and charcoal appliances, however, the City asks the public to please exercise extreme caution. 

Central and North Frontenac residents are under the same restrictions.

“Under these conditions, it is illegal to burn anything outdoors. If caught burning outdoors, while under a burn ban, your fire will be extinguished and your actions may result in a fine,” the Central Frontenac Township website reads.

North Frontenac’s total burn ban began slightly earlier today, perhaps due to their proximity to the Madawaska fire to their north.

“On June 5, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. a Total Fire Ban was implemented due to the dry conditions, creating extreme fire conditions in the Townships of North Frontenac and Addington Highlands. Therefore no open fires will be permitted until the potential for Forest Fires decreases,” reads a pop-up on the North Frontenac Township website.

North Frontenac also explained under which conditions a cooking fire is permissible:

“A gas camp stove (BBQ) or Hibachis (charcoal installation) may be used provided the installation is used within 100 meters of a permanent structure used as a dwelling that you occupy, or in an organized campground, is at least 2 meters from any flammable material and the ashes and coals produced are completely extinguished and safely disposed of.”

In South Frontenac Township, the Level One burn ban has been in effect since Apr. 12, 2023. A Level One fire ban restricts open air burning for the purposes of burning grass, brush, or other combustible materials, but permits campfires and cooking fires as defined in By-law 2012-68.

Greater Napanee does not appear to currently be under a burn ban, and residents can find more information about burning, including burning permits, on their website.

Other municipalities may also be issuing, or currently under, burn bans. Contact local governments for more information.

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