New Open Air Burning Permits are Available Now

The Open Air Burn By-law #2022-13 separates open air burns into the six categories by the size of your open air burn and the required setbacks of non-combustibles on your property to limit the spread of fire and to protect the safety of persons, properties and surrounding neighbourhoods.

All permits will be registered using the website: Meaford.burnpermits.com

All burns are only permitted after receiving your permit number and a permit is to be obtained for each type of open air burn and only one fire is permitted to be actively burning at one time.

The Six Types of Open Air Burn Permits are:

Outdoor Fireplace, Fire Pit, Bonfire, Brush Fire, Controlled Fire and Demolition Fire.

Permits Automatically Approved:

  1. Outdoor Fireplace
  2. Fire Pit

Permits Requiring Approval:

(Properties must be over 1 acre of land)

  1. Bonfire
  2. Brush Fire
  3. Controlled Fire
  4. Demolition Fire

For further requirements for each type of burn, please visit the additional resources section below.

 Create an Account - Meaford Burn Permits

General Provisions

All owners having an open air burn must ensure that:

  • An annual burn permit is required to be obtained prior to any burning and all permits expire annually on December 31;
  • The fire shall be in compliance to the required setbacks as to the type and size;
  • Burn area location is not permitted in your front yard, unless approved by Chief Fire Official;
  • Only clean and clear wood or by-products of clean clear wood are permitted;
  • Household Waste is not permitted to be burned;
  • Yard Waste is not permitted to be burned;
  • Ground Cover is not to be burned, unless approved by the Chief Fire Official;
  • No active burn when the wind speeds are greater than 20km/hour;
  • No active burn when there is a smog alert;
  • No active burn permitted when there is a fire ban in effect;
  • No active fire can be a nuisance to neighbouring property owners;
  • All owners operating a Bonfire, Brush Fire, Controlled or a Demolition fire are required to notify at the start of each burn.

For a Bonfire, Brush Fire, Controlled Fire and a Demolition Fire you will not receive permit number approval until it is reviewed by the Chief Fire Official. Once approved, you will receive confirmation with your permit number through Meaford.burnpermits.com. Any completed permits received Monday through Friday during regular business hours will be reviewed within 24 hours, and any completed permits received on Saturday or Sunday, will be reviewed the following business day.

Fire Pit

An Open Air Fire that is greater than 0.8m (2.6ft) in diameter and 0.8m (2.6ft) in height but not greater than 1 cubic meter in diameter and is within an approved device enclosed on all sides and constructed of masonry, concrete, stone, heavy gauge metal or other non-combustible materials.

Fire must be out by 1am unless property is over 1 acre.

circle graph of fire pit sizing

Click here to view and download the PDF document

Outdoor Fireplace

An Open Air Fire that is not greater than 0.8m (2.6ft) in diameter and 0.8m (2.6ft) in height and is within a manufactured non-combustible enclosed container such as fire bowls with spark arrestors on top or chimineas.

Fire must be out by 1am unless property is over 1 acre.

circle graph showing the size of fire

Click here to view and download the PDF document

Bonfire

An Open Air Fire that is greater then 1 cubic meter but is not greater than 2.2m (7ft) in length, by 2.2m (7ft) in width, by 2.2m (7ft) in height. 

This type of permit requires approval from the Chief Fire Official and you are required to notify at the start of each burn.

Fire can only be conducted on a parcel of land over 1 acre and can burn at any time.

circle graph of fire sizing

Click here to view and download the PDF document

Brush Fire

An Open Air Fire that is greater than 2.2m (7ft) length, 2.2m (7ft) in width, and 2.2m (7ft) in height but is not greater than 3m (10ft) in length, by 3m (10ft) in width, by 3m (10ft) in height. This fire is for the sole purpose of burning wood, tree limbs and branches. 

This type of permit requires approval from the Chief Fire Official and you are required to notify at the start of each burn.

Fire cannot be set, maintained or operated 2 hours prior to sunset.

Fire can only be conducted on a parcel of land over 1 acre.

 circle graph of fire sizing

Click here to view and download the PDF document

Controlled Fire

An Open Air Fire that is greater than 3m (10ft) in length, by 3m (10ft) in width, by 3m (10ft) in height but not greater than 6m (20ft) in length, by 6m (20ft) in width, by 6m (20ft) in height. 

This type of permit requires approval from the Chief Fire Official and you are required to notify at the start of each burn.

Fire cannot be set, maintained or operated 2 hours prior to sunset.

Fire can only be conducted on a parcel of land over 1 acre.

circle graph of fire sizing

Click here to view and download the PDF document

Demolition Fire

An Open Air Fire designed to remove a structure of only clean clear wood, with no indication of materials that are Household Waste, with an attached Building Permit to demolish the structure.

This type of permit requires approval from the Chief Fire Official and you are required to notify at the start of each burn.

Fire cannot be set, maintained or operated 2 hours prior to sunset.

How do I Obtain a Permit?

All permits shall be registered at meaford.burnpermits.com

Looking for additional support in applying? Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to obtain a permit online.

If you are having difficulty and/or not able to process the permit on-line, you may contact fire@meaford.ca or 519-538-2121 to help with the permit application process.

For those requiring in-person assistance, please call 519-538-2121 to arrange an in-person appointment at 81 Stewart Street (Meaford Fire Hall).

Responding to Calls

Municipal Enforcement, Meaford Fire or Inter-Township Fire Department responds to open air burn concerns which may result in officers entering onto the property to conduct an investigation.

If the burn is not in compliance, a charge may be issued to all persons responsible for the burn. Administration charges for the service may be applied and the individual responsible for the burn and may be required to extinguish or modify the active fire. If the responding fire department extinguishes or modifies the active fire, costs will be incurred at the owner’s expense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have more than one burn area location on my property?

Yes. You are required to obtain a permit for each type of burn on your property. You may have multiple permits, as long as you meet the required setbacks and you can only ignite one burn area location at a time. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to add additional permit types.

Do I need a permit for a campfire on my property?

Yes. All Open Air Fires require a permit with required setbacks. Reference the types of permits to determine which permit meets your property setbacks. 

 I have an outdoor fireplace and a fire pit, do I need to notify each time I start the burn?

No. You are only required to notify at the start of each burn for a Bonfire, Brush Fire, Controlled or a Demolition fire. 

How much does it cost for a permit?

There is no charge for open air burning permits.

Do I need a permit for outdoor cooking device that has charcoal or pellets?

No. These types of fires do not require a permit, however are required to be on non-combustible surfaces while having a means of extinguishment readily available and disposed of in a sanitary manner.  

Outdoor cooking devices are permitted in our parks, and are required to be on non-combustible surface, to have supervision at all times and we require you take your cold materials from the fire with you.

Do I need a permit to have a fire in a campground?

No. As long as you burn within the supplied approved device of the campground and have means of extinguishment readily available.

What time does the fire have to be extinguished?

For Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits on less than 1 acre of land, fires are to be extinguished by 1am of the same day.  If your property is over 1 acre of land, there is no time restriction. 

Brush Fires, Controlled Fires and Demolition Fires are only permitted to be set, maintained and operated 2 hours before sunset of the same day.  

Why do I have to obtain a permit?

To provide safe distances for different sizes of open air burns, to educate persons igniting a fire and to ensure the permit holders are accountable and responsible for the burn they are maintaining on their property.

How often do I need to obtain a permit?

All permits expires annually on December 31. All owners are to register their type of fire annually.

I registered for an open air burn permit, can I burn now?

Once registration is completed, you will receive a Permit Number and that is your record for obtaining an Open Air Burn Permit to have an open air fire.

Yes. Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits, will be automatically approved after you have completed the Terms and Conditions and you can burn after you receive your permit number.

No. Bonfires, Brush Fires, Controlled Fires and Demolition Fires are required to be reviewed by the Chief Fire Official.  At that time, they will review and if they have any concerns they will call and may require an inspection. You cannot ignite the burn area until you have received approval. Any completed permits received Monday through Friday during regular business hours will be reviewed within 24 hours, and any completed permits received on Saturday or Sunday, will be reviewed the next following business day.

Do I have to notify every time I have a burn?

No. If you are conducting a fire in an Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit

Yes.  If you are conducting a Bonfire, Brush Fire, Controlled Fire or Demolition Fire you are required to call 1-855-693-0080 and follow prompts or log into your account to register and activate a burn.

Click here for instructions on how to notify of active burn online.

Do I have to obtain my burn permit online?

Yes. Permits are now available online by going to meaford.burnpermits.com

Looking for additional support applying? Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to create your account and apply for a burn permit.

If you are having difficulty and/or not able to process the permit on-line, you may contact fire@meaford.ca or 519-538-2121 to help with the permit application process.

For those requiring in-person assistance, please call 519-538-2121 to arrange an in-person appointment at 81 Stewart Street (Meaford Fire Hall).

If someone else will be conducting a burn on my property, who is required to obtain the permit?

The person conducting the burn is the one responsible for obtaining the burn permit. For example, if you own the property but someone else will be conducting the burn while you are not present, the person starting the active burn is required to obtain the permit and notify the start of an active burn.

Who do I contact if I know someone is burning something other than clean clear wood?

For immediate life and safety concerns and an uncontrolled open air fire, call 9-1-1.

 

For all other open air burn concerns, you have three options:

  1. Call (519) 538-2121;
  2. Email bylaw@meaford.ca (provide specific details to the concern as to location, reason for your concerns and your contact information)
  3. Submit an official complaint online at meaford.ca/reportaconcern

 

Additional Resources: 

 

Create an Account - Meaford Burn Permits

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