You can burn! But only if you have a permit


Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services encourages the public to use caution when burning.  With the spring season finally upon us, there is an increased potential for grass fires.  With grass and brush starting to dry out, it is very easy for fire to spread uncontrollably with a small amount of wind. Unattended burning is the most common cause of grass fires. Burning carelessly along with improperly discarding cigarette butts can also pose a hazard.

An “Open-Air Burn Permit” must be obtained to conduct open air fires in Sault Ste. Marie. Open fires are only permitted in approved areas by a Fire Prevention Officer. Permits are currently unavailable online, however, they may be obtained by calling (705) 949-3333 ext. 2 or in person at Fire Station #1, 72 Tancred Street, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

A Fire Prevention Officer will perform a site inspection (a non-refundable inspection fee applies), at which time conditions for approval will be reviewed. Upon approval by a Fire Prevention Officer, an open-air burning permit is issued. Once the permit expires, it is the owner’s responsibility to renew the permit. Failure to obtain or renew an open-air burn permit may result in a fine.

Fire Prevention Officers currently schedule inspections for Tuesdays and Fridays. A permit will not be issued unless the homeowner agrees to allow the Fire Prevention Officer to check the home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

For more detailed information about open-air burn permits, please contact Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services at (705) 949-3333 or visit


  1. Having to buy a permit is bullshit, so we have to pay to enjoy ourselves on our own property… oh wait I forgot we don’t even own our land either… we pay for that as well in property taxes.. I wonder when people will start realizing we’re slaves to the government and start doing something about it!?

  2. So idiotic to allow backyard burning in the city. All the people who have asthma and other lung diseases have to stay inside and shut up their houses. I don’t pour chemicals on other people’s lawns…why should they be allowed to pour chemicals into my air?

    • Hahahaha get over it and quit whining. Incase you havent noticed, we have a steel plant in our city. The steel plant alone puts more pollutants im the air than anyone enjoying a fire in their yard.

    • Mike Hawk I always know I’ve won an argument when someone starts calling me names. Bottom line is, backyard burning is the ultimate in selfishness because it means people with lung illnesses can’t go outside. If you want a campfire, go camping. People should be able to sit in their backyards without being smoked out by their neighbours fires.

    • Perhaps your neighbors know how much of a whiner you are and purposely make their fires smokey, i know i sure would if you were my neighbor. You want fresh air, go camping.

    • As part of a burning permit the holder is not allowed to make an excessive amount of smoke. If a neighboor complains about not be able to enjoy their yards the holder could be fined or revoked. No burning trash or wet crappy wood its not allowed to smolder and with size restrictions and placement distances as well as limits to times. If the permit holder followed all the guidelines the impact to their neighboor should be low. Let’s face it all neighboors annoy on occasion its all give and take. I wonder how many permits this city issues and whats the total permitted per neighboorhood.

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