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UPDATE – Level One Ban – Dry conditions result in total fire ban for South Frontenac Township

UPDATE (Friday, Jun. 18, 2021):

The total fire ban for the Township of South Frontenac will be downgraded to a Level One fire ban at 12 p.m. on Friday, Jun. 18, 2021.

According to a release from the Township, 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 the By-law 2012-68.

Recent rainfall has allowed for some restrictions to be lifted, the Township said, allowing for recreational fires, however, residents are reminded to proceed with caution as many areas within the Township remain dry. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has maintained their ‘Extreme’ Fire Danger Rating in the northern half of the Township, communicating that residents must remain vigilant when partaking in camping or cooking fires.

The Township also reminds residents that contravention of the Level One Fire Ban, and any other infractions under the By-law, will result in financial penalties associated with the cost of emergency response and enforcement as outlined in the Township’s Burning By-law No. 2012-68. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact South Frontenac Fire & Rescue (SFFR) at 613-376-3027 ext. 2234, or via email at [email protected].

As always, South Frontenac Fire & Rescue personnel will continue to review this situation and notify the public of any status changes as they occur. Please continue to think safe and be safe when choosing to have outdoor cooking and camping fires over the next few weeks, the Township said.

Original Article:

A total fire ban for the Township of South Frontenac comes into effect at 4 p.m. today, Monday, June 7, 2021.

A total fire ban means absolutely no open air burning, including cooking fires, brush fires, camping fires, and fireworks as defined in By-law 2012-68, according to a release on the South Frontenac website, dated Monday, June 7, 2021. This ban does not apply to cooking appliances with a mechanical shutoff (such as a propane barbeque).

“Recent dry conditions coupled with a poor air quality rating, high humidity, and increasing temperatures has led to the issuance of a fire ban for the Township of South Frontenac,” explained Chief Darcy Knott, Director of Fire & Emergency Services and Fire Chief for the Township. “These factors would make fire suppression extremely challenging for the South Frontenac Fire & Rescue (SFFR) team.”

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has also recently updated its Fire Danger Rating within the northern half of the Township to ‘Extreme’. An extreme rating on the index means that forest fires ignited under current conditions could result in a fire that is fast spreading, has high intensity, and would be very difficult to control and suppress, according to the release.

Contravention of the Total Fire Ban, and any other infractions under the By-law will result in financial penalties associated with the cost of emergency response and enforcement. Fees are outlined in the Township’s Burning By-law No. 2012-68 and range from $75 for a basic response and investigation of a complaint, to $410 per vehicle plus firefighter wages for larger responses. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact SFFR at 613-376-3027 ext. 2234, or via email at [email protected].

SFFR personnel will continue to review this situation and consider changes to the ban if conditions warrant. According to the release, there is no desire to have the ban in place for any longer than necessary – the goal is to protect persons, property, and to reduce excess costs to Township ratepayers.

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