Open air fire ban now in effect for City of Ottawa

Ottawa Fire Services announced today that the annual spring ban on open air fires is now in effect until further notice. The ban will remain in place until spring progresses enough that the green grass begins to overtake the tall dead grass, as the risks of uncontrollable burns will be significantly reduced.

Every winter, grass and leaves die underneath the piles of snow, and even if the ground seems wet in some areas, the dry grass and leaves create the perfect condition for fast-spreading fires when combined with other dry materials, such as branches, as well as the addition of environmental changes like high winds, prolonged dry spells, early spring surface conditions, cut fields or wet conditions that prevent firefighting equipment from accessing remote and rural locations. 

From the Ottawa Fire Service:

All open air fires are prohibited during a fire ban, including for those properties that have an Open Air Fire Permit. This ban applies to agricultural burns, brush pile burns, as well as campfires. There will be zero tolerance enforcement during the fire ban.
We thank area residents for their patience and cooperation with this matter.

How can you reduce the risks around your home?

During this time of year, you can help reduce the risks close by when you take advantage of weekly yard waste collection. The Ottawa Fire Service offers these additional tips to prevent grass and brush fires in your area:

  • Clear all combustible materials such as tree limbs, leaves and other dry materials away from buildings and propane tanks.
  • Keep barbecue propane tanks at least three metres from buildings.
  • Wood piles should be stored a safe distance from your home.
  • Trees should be pruned to create a good vertical separation from the ground.
  • Clear out any accumulated dry or dead debris from your property.

Cigarette butts a major concern

Every year, cigarettes that are not fully extinguished contribute to the grass fires during burn bans. If you are a smoker, please use caution when disposing of your cigarettes. Cigarettes (lit or not) shouldn't be thrown out of car windows.

More information about open air fires in the City of Ottawa

Please follow our office on Facebook and Twitter to get regular updates. We'll announce there when the ban has been lifted. 

If you are interested in obtaining a burn permit, you can get more information at or visit the North Gower Client Service Centre (or any client service centre) on Thursdays.

Read more about the open air fire by-law here.