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 Ottawa.ca 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.

IMPORTANT: City-wide burn ban now in effect

Ottawa Fire Services has issued a city-wide burn ban. It is effective immediately to prevent the rapid spread of fire due to grass and brush fires. This ban will remain in place until conditions improve and the green grass starts to show through dead tall grass.

All open air fires are prohibited during a fire ban even for those properties that have a burn permit.

There will be zero tolerance enforcement during the open air burning ban.

Debris from winter (fallen tree branches, leaves, etc.) increases the risk of fire spread, so this is a preventative measure to keep people and property safe.

Reduce your risk around the home

Ottawa Fire Services encourages residents to take advantage of weekly yard waste collection and use the following tips to prevent grass and brush fires:

  • Clear all combustible materials such as tree limbs, leaves and other dry materials away from buildings and propane tanks
  • Keep BBQ propane tanks at least 3 m from buildings.
  • Wood piles should stored a safe distance from the home
  • Trees should be pruned to create a good vertical separation from the ground
  • Have a working garden hose and water supply to promptly extinguish any grass fires
  • Clear out any accumulated dry/dead debris from property

For additional tips on disposing yard waste, visit Ottawa.ca.

Cigarettes an ongoing cause of grass fires

Carelessly discarded cigarettes continue to be a major cause of grass fires during these dry periods. Smokers are reminded to please use care when butting out. Do not throw lit cigarettes out vehicle windows. Be sure that cigarettes are completely out and discard in an appropriate waste recepacle.

Permits

During the burn ban, no burning is allowed - even with a permit. Residents are reminded that they must first obtain a fire permit before they have a fire in the open air. Permit holders are then required to call 613-580-2880 prior to burning to ensure there is not a burn ban in effect. Substantial fines may be issued to residents who are not in possession of a valid fire permit or are found to be non-compliant to conditions and regulations within their permit

Fire Permits are available at all Client Service Centres and Ottawa Fire Services Rural Administration Offices. A list of these sites , hours of operation and more information on fire permits can be found on Ottawa.ca/fire or by calling 3-1-1 (613-580-2400).

Fire safety awareness: Ottawa Fire Services may visit your home this week

Firefighters from Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) will be out in the community between September 30 and October 6 to encourage residents to install, test and ensure that smoke alarms in their homes are operating.

This is the second of two eight-day blitzes OFS planned for 2013 as part of its annual Wake Up campaign. The first blitz took place in the spring.

During this period homes throughout the city will receive visits from firefighters. The Ontario Fire Code requires homes to have a working smoke alarm on each floor.

Homeowners who need new or additional smoke alarms will be given information on how to acquire an alarm rebate through the website safetathome.ca. Homeowners who do not have any working smoke alarms may have one immediately installed for them, or be provided with new batteries.

Visits will take place between 6 and 8 p.m. on weekdays and between 2 and 4 p.m. on weekends. Firefighters will be in uniform and residents are not obligated to provide them access to their home. This is a courtesy call only.

Subdivisions built in the last five years are less likely to receive visits. If no one is home when OFS comes calling, fire safety information will be left in the mailbox.

Firefighters visit Ottawa homes in this manner year round and have been doing so since the Wake Up program began in 2005. For more information about smoke alarms and Ottawa Fire Services, visit ottawa.ca.

It's time to celebrate Canada! Here's what you need to know

Come join the festivities in North Gower!

1:00 pm – Annual Bike Parade

Decorate yourself and your bike in Canada’s Colours and/or theme and join us at the North Gower Marlborough Public School for a parade down to the Alfred Taylor Centre. Prizes for the most unique. All ages welcome to participate. For Safety reasons please encourage your children to stay behind the lead Fire Truck.

1:30 pm - Opening Ceremonies

Join us at the pavilion for the singing of O Canada, greetings from our elected representatives, the judging of the bikes and a slice of cake.

1:45 pm - Rides and Activities

Fun for everyone – Gumball bouncing house, volcano climbing wall, kiddie slide, 65’ obstacle course, dunk tank, cow milking, plinko, or challenge friends to the wrecking ball.

Fireworks at Dusk (Raindate – July 2/13)

Bring your lawn chair, relax have a chat with your neighbours, and enjoy the show. Many thanks to our Volunteer Firefighters. 

Canada Day Safety Tips

  • Check the weather and prepare for hot temperatures and the possibility of rain
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and take action immediately
  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated when active or outdoors
  • Be Sun Smart - wear sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and light and loose clothing
  • Do not bring glass containers downtown as they may accidently break and cause serious injuries to you or someone else
  • Wear proper and comfortable shoes –if you head downtown, roads near the Hill are closed to vehicles, so you will be doing lots of walking
  • If you take medication, bring it with you and include a current list of prescribed medications
  • If you do not feel well, please stay home
  • If you are heading downtown to see the fireworks, keep within designated areas only—fences protect you from danger, do not climb over them to get a better vantage point of the fireworks
  • Keep a close eye on children and teach them to stay where they are if they get separated from you and know where the nearest lost child tent is located
  • Refrain from or minimize consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • If consuming alcohol. use Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones:
    • Set limits for yourself and stick to them.
    • Drink slowly – have no more than two drinks in any three hour period.
    • For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink.
    • Eat before and while you are drinking.
    • Always plan for a safe ride home.

Fireworks Safety

To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the Ottawa Fire Services recommends that everyone attend public fireworks displays organized and monitored by fireworks experts. (Like the one in North Gower!)

We would also like to remind who are planning to use fireworks this Canada Day weekend to practice caution and comply with the Fireworks By-law to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.

The City’s Fireworks By-law outlines the rules around fireworks use. Anyone planning to have fireworks displays over the Canada Day weekend should do so in a safe and courteous manner.

Consumer fireworks may be discharged on the day of, the day before or the day after Canada Day. They must be discharged by someone 18 years or older, and on private property, with permission of the property owner. The fireworks display must not cause danger or nuisance to any person or property.

It is also important to note that the sale of consumer fireworks, except on Canada Day and the seven business days immediately preceding Canada Day, is prohibited.

Display fireworks, such as those on Parliament Hill and smaller-scale versions at public parks on Canada Day weekend, may only be discharged by someone over 18 who holds a permit issued by the Ottawa Fire Chief. Applications for these permits must be submitted 30 days before the intended display.

Firecrackers are prohibited from being used or sold in the City of Ottawa or Province of Ontario. Anyone selling, purchasing or using firecrackers within the City of Ottawa is in violation of the Fireworks By-law as well as provincial law.

Please review Ottawa’s Fireworks By-law on ottawa.ca for further details. Residents wanting more information or having questions about the Fireworks By-law can contact 3-1-1.

If you still choose to have a family fireworks or an informal neighbourhood display. Here are some important safety tips to be followed: 

  • Purchase your fireworks from a reliable source.
  • Always read and follow the label directions exactly.
  • Adults must supervise the lighting and handling of fireworks at all times.
  • Always keep water handy (a garden hose or bucket of water).
  • Discharge fireworks away from combustible materials, including buildings and trees.
  • Keep children and spectators a safe distance away from fireworks when the fireworks are discharged.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water).
  • Never give fireworks to small children, including sparklers. While sparklers are often considered harmless fun, they can burn twice as hot as a typical kitchen oven (they can burn at 650 C or 1,200 F), can ignite clothing, and cause eye damage and burns.
  • Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in a metal garbage can.

For more information on fireworks safety please visit Ottawa.ca/fire.

The annual spring burn ban is now in effect...here are the details:

The aftermath of a brush fire. Source: Morguefile

UPDATE: The burn ban has been lifted as of April 30, 2013.

Every spring Ottawa Fire Services issues a city-wide burn ban to prevent grass and brush fires that can spread very quickly after the snow melts and before we start to see green again. 

The ban will remain in place as long as conditions remain dry. This winter left us with more debris on the ground, such as fallen tree branches, leaves, etc., which has created an increased risk.

IMPORTANT: All open air fires are prohibited during a fire ban, even if you have a burn permit for your property. For the safety and protection of all City of Ottawa residents, there is zero tolerance enforcement during the ban. 

How can you reduce risk of fire on your property?

It's spring cleanup time for everyone! Here are some things you can do to help prevent fires from starting near your home and other property.

  • Clear all combustible materials such as tree limbs, leaves and other dry materials away from buildings and propane tanks
  • Keep BBQ propane tanks at least 3 m from buildings.
  • Wood piles should stored a safe distance from the home
  • Trees should be pruned to create a good vertical separation from the ground
  • Clear out any accumulated dry/dead debris from property

Cigarettes

Carelessly discarded cigarettes continue to be a major cause of grass fires during these dry periods. Smokers are reminded to please use care when butting out. Do not throw lit cigarettes out vehicle windows.

Waste disposal

  • Place all yard waste for pickup in compostable paper bags, garbage cans or cardboard boxes
  • Ensure containers and bundles weigh no more than 15 kg (33 lbs)
  • Place any extra leaf and yard waste in the green bin
  • Tie all branches in bundles of less than 1.2 m (4 ft) in length and 60 cm (2 ft) in width
  • Individual branches should be less than 10 cm (4 in) in diameter
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn
  • Leaf and yard waste will not be collected as regular garbage
  • more information on yard waste disposal visit ottawa.ca

In the event that you see a fire happening, stay away from the area and call 9-1-1 to report it.

Watch our site to get updates about when the burn ban is lifted.

Spring burn ban in effect

Due to the early arrival of warm weather the Ottawa Fire Services has placed a burn ban into effect in order to prevent the rapid spread of fire due to grass and brush fires. This ban will remain in place until conditions improve and the green grass starts to show through tall dead grass. Residents are reminded that they must first obtain a Fire Permit before they have a fire in the open air. Permit holders are then required to call 613-580-2880 prior to burning to ensure there is not a burn ban in effect. Fire Permits are available at all Client Service Centres and Ottawa Fire Services’ Rural Administrative offices. A list of these sites, hours of operation and more information on Fire Permits can be found on ottawa.ca or by calling 3-1-1.
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Applications for Camp FFIT now available

Ottawa Fire Services invite young women between the ages of 15 and 19 to apply for a position in Camp FFIT, an annual camp designed to educate young women about the career of fire fighting. Camp FFIT is a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services and Fire Service Women Ontario. It will be held at 898 Industrial Avenue during the week of August 13 to 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Applications are available at ottawa.ca and must be returned to Ottawa Fire Services Training Centre at 898 Industrial Avenue no later than May 15, 2012 (applications received after this date will only be considered if postmark indicates May 15 or earlier).
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Sunday, March 11th: Change your clocks – change your batteries!

Ottawa Fire Services would like to remind you to replace batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, both at home and at the cottage, when setting your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 11th. Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can save your loved ones’ lives as well as your own.
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Ottawa Fire Services welcomes donations to the Vehicle Donation Program

Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) is encouraging residents to donate their old or scrap vehicles to the Vehicle Donation Program. Your donation can help firefighters continuously practice their skills and rescue techniques, and you will receive a $500 tax receipt in return. Even if your vehicle does not run, it can still be used, and OFS will arrange to have it picked up for free.
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Ice Safety Awareness: Think twice before venturing onto the ice

The Ottawa Drowning Prevention Coalition wants to remind residents that when the temperatures go down, awareness of the dangers of being on or around ice and open water needs to go up. When water begins to freeze on rivers, lakes, the Rideau Canal and other open bodies of water it may look solid but is often still dangerous.
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