Open-Air Burning Ban Remains in Effect for City and Province


SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – April 30th, 2020 – Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services imposed a community wide open-air burn ban effective noon, March 23, 2020, accompanied by the province of Ontario implementing open-air burning restrictions on April 2. Since this time, Fire Services has proceeded with 21 charges on city residents for having open-air burning fires within the community.

The open-air burning ban continues to be imposed for the foreseeable future. “At this point, the weather will not change the ban being lifted,” said Public Education Officer Aaron Gravelle. “This is not about if it is too dry or if we have had heavy amounts of rain, this is about not tying-up our resources with non-emergency calls.”

Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services will continue to pursue prosecutions regarding anyone caught burning under this ban. “During these times, SSMFS can ill afford to have our crews responding to these types of non-emergency complaints,” stated Fire Chief Peter Johnson. “The community must adhere to this ban or face charges under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.”

The Fire Protection and Prevention Act prescribes fines for contraventions of the Ontario Fire Code to be up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment.


  1. We’re not that slow.. they put the real reason in the last sentence.. ‘The Fire Protection and Prevention Act prescribes fines for contraventions of the Ontario Fire Code to be up to $50,000’ & they say that with a smile.. 🙂

  2. Poorly written headlines and journalism is the reason many never get the full understanding of what the actual rules are. The provincial fire ban is ONLY for the fire zones and is not applicable province wide. I can still have a fire in Clearview Township in Southern Ontario but have to deal with uninformed people who read headlines like this and assume the fire ban is all inclusive.

    • The Ontario government is restricting outdoor fires to ensure the province’s emergency response can focus on the novel coronavirus outbreak.

      On Thursday (April 2nd, 2020), John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced that starting Friday, the province’s entire legislated fire region will be designed at “Restricted Fire Zone.”

  3. I’d like to see last years statistics about how many time police, fire and paramedics were tied up responding to backyard fires that got out of control and false alarms at homes with fire permits from the Sault Ste. Marie fire department. 🤔

  4. I don’t really care about a city fire ban as I don’t have one but I don’t know what is so different in the Sault from any other year. If we start to get an outbreak then I can see it. Just my opinion.

    • Mike Premo my comment was referencing the article. The two comments before mine were flat out asking “why, we just got rain”. Which shows they didn’t read the article at all.

      Just like when the fire ban started last month, the “tying up Resourses” would refer to emergency response to fires, that would take away from “potential” virus related emergencies. I imagine it will be like this until there’s no longer a state of emergency in Ontario.
      I personally think there’s no need for a ban here in SSM. It shouldn’t be a blanket ban just because. But it seems that will be the case for everything included in the “reopening” of Ontario.

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