The annual spring burn ban is now in 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


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

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.