OFS puts end to burning starting Aug. 23

Special to WC Online

WEST CARLETON – The current heatwave has forced the Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) to declare an open-air burn ban effective today (Aug. 23).

“OFS is implementing a ban on open air burning for the entire City of Ottawa effective Monday, Aug. 23rd 2021 at noon,” OFS public information officer Carson Tharris released in a statement today (Aug. 23). All open air fires are prohibited during a ban, including properties that have an Open Air Fire Permit. This ban applies to agricultural burns, brush pile burns, as well as campfires and wood burning outdoor fireplaces. There will be zero tolerance enforcement during the fire ban as per the Open Air Fire Bylaw.”

Devices which do not require a permit such as propane, ethanol, and natural gas outdoor fireplaces and barbecues are not included in the ban and residents are advised to follow the manufacturer’s specifications for safe clearances and operation.

OFS implements a ban on open-air fires based on environmental conditions in order to prevent the rapid spread of fire due to grass and brush fires. Hot dry conditions in recent days have increased risks and can quickly lead to fast and uncontrolled spread of fire.

“The current heat and humidity also poses an increased danger of heat exhaustion for crews who would be called to attack an out of control fire,” Tharris said. “This ban will remain in place until lower temperatures and more precipitation allowing conditions to improve and risks to decrease. We thank area residents for their patience and cooperation with this matter.”

Reduce your risk around the home:

  • Residents are encouraged 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 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.

“Carelessly discarded cigarettes continue to be a major cause of grass fires during these dry periods,” Tharris said. “Smokers are reminded to please use care when butting out. Do not throw lit cigarettes out vehicle windows. We appreciate your assistance in preventing grass or other dangerous fires to occur during high risk period.”

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