East Zorra-Tavistock

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Township of East Zorra-Tavistock

Call before you burn

The Township requires all burns to be called in to the Township Office. This helps us to ensure that fires are being performed in a safe way, as well as making sure that firefighters are only sent out to real fires - this saves money and makes sure that when a real fire happens, people and vehicles are available. Failure to call in a burn could mean that you'll be faced with the cost of sending firefighters out to your property.

Requirements for a burn:

  • You may only burn wood or wood products
  • Controlled burns cannot be held in villages or rural clusters
  • The weather must be safe for a controlled burn (if it is too dry or windy, or there is a smog alert in place, permission for a burn might be denied)
  • Fires will not be permitted while a fire ban is in place (fire bans are posted in our Newsroom. Subscribe to Keep Me Informed alerts for updates!)
  • The burn cannot start after 4 PM, and must be completely extinguished by dusk

When you call in, please have the following information available:

  • Telephone number where the person supervising the burn can be reached
    • If at all possible, the person supervising the fire should have a cell phone number where they can be reached so that fire dispatch can contact the supervisor if needed.
  • Address of the property where the burn will be held (including 911 number)
  • Location on property (for example: "In the field", "beside the barn")
    • When you pick a location, ensure that it's far away from any buildings or areas where the fire could spread. Be especially careful on windy days or during dry weather.
  • Forms of extinguishing available (for example: Fire extinguisher; buckets of water)
  • Material to be burned
  • Date of controlled burn
  • Start time and end time
  • Weather conditions at the site

If burning on a weekend, please call us the Friday before. The township phone number is found at the Contact Us page.

Fire pit guidelines

open camp fireYou do not need to call before you burn in a proper firepit.

  • Pit not to exceed 24" in diameter
  • Pit will have sides no higher than 24"
  • Placement of pit to be a minimum of 25 feet from buildings and combustibles (e.g. trees, wood fences, decks, sheds)
  • Sufficient water or extinguishing agent are to be readily available to keep fire under control
  • Fires must be supervised at all times
  • It is recommended that only dry wood be burnt
  • Avoid starting any fire on windy days
  • Respect your neighbours, avoid having large quantities of smoke drifting towards neighbouring dwellings
  • All toxic materials prohibited by the Canadian Environments Protection Act including treated , painted or laminated woods products, tires, plastic, rubber, asphalt, foam and insulation shall not be burnt at any time.

Ontario Fire Code (1) states:
Open-air burning shall not take place unless:
      (a)  it has been approved, or 
      (b)  the open-air burning consists of a small, confined fire that is:
            (i)   used to cook food on a grill, barbecue or spit,
            (ii)  commensurate with the type and quantity of food being cooked, and
            (iii) supervised at all times

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