Local fire ban lifted in South Frontenac Township

Photo by Tori Stafford.

As of today, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the total burn ban has been lifted in the Township of South Frontenac.

This lifted burn ban means that residents can return to having open air fires, including open air cooking fires, camping fires, and approved incinerator or brush pile fires that are in compliance with the regulations set in the Township’s burning bylaw 2012-68.

“Spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has made many of us eager to clean up our yards, but it is important that we do so safely,” Mayor Ron Vandewal said in a statement. “I want to thank residents for their patience during this difficult time – I know that the past few months have been challenging for all of us, but our community has stood together in order to ensure the safety of all residents.”

The Township cautions that, although the local fire ban has been lifted, the provincial fire ban enacted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is still in place. This includes the northern portion of South Frontenac Township, including Bedford District and Frontenac Provincial Park. The provincial fire ban was instituted in restricted fire zones on Friday, Apr. 3, 2020 for two reasons: due to the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the capacity of emergency responders, and also because a moderate Forest Fire Danger Rating still exists in the northern half of the Township and other parts of Frontenac County as identified by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Residents who live within the Province’s restricted fire zone cannot have an outdoor fire. This includes the burning of grass and debris, and campfires, even if using an outdoor fire grate, fire place or fire pit. The Township of South Frontenac does not control or enforce the Provincial ban. This means that Bedford District residents are required to comply with these restrictions. A map of Ontario’s fire region can be found here. The Ontario government has indicated that this restriction will remain in place until the province’s ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the provincial rules under the Restricted Fire Zone, click here.

South Frontenac Fire and Rescue Chief Darcy Knott stressed the importance that health and safety protocol remain in place despite the burn ban being lifted.

“I encourage residents to continue to follow social distancing guidelines, adhere to the regulations within the burning by-law 2012-68, and to be and think safe when it comes to fires,” he said.

The Township would like to remind residents of the importance of complying with burning Bylaw 2012-68, which is available here. Any infraction of By-law2012-68 can result in significant financial penalties. Residents with any questions or concerns can contact South Frontenac Fire and Rescue at 613-376-3027 ext. 2234.

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