Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services (SSMFS) are urging residents to follow Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) policies in support of emergency responders by restricting all outdoor fires in the area. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has implemented a RFZ across Ontario due to the impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a media release sent to the public on March 23, at noon, effective immediately SSMFS announced there is an open-air burning ban for the city, which includes no burning of grass, debris, no campfires and fire pits. Since the fire ban has been in place SSMFS has received numerous complaints that individuals are not obeying fire ban policies. It has come to the attention of SSMFS that individuals need to be reminded of the ban and a second media release was sent on April 2, to outline those who do not comply with the imposed fire ban will be charged.
“Fire Services receive numerous burning complaints at this time of the year. The fire ban is in place to eliminate unnecessary fire crew interactions with the community at this time,” said, Paul Milosevich, Deputy Fire Chief, Inspection Division.
There is no deadline for the fire ban, as of right now it is indefinite. SSMFS encourages individuals to be mindful as this is a provincial ban. Although there are some alternatives such as a TSSA approved propane-fueled fire pits, please be mindful to practice social distancing if used.