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Bradford West Gwillimbury

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​Open Air Burning and Burn Permits

Recreational backyard fires are allowed in BWG only if the homeowner first receives a Burn Permit from BWG Fire & Emergency Services, and follows all of the provisions of the Town's Open Air Burning By-law (see Documents at right for full text). 

The Town of BWG's by-law outlines where, when, how and if you can have a recreational fire in your backyard. Homeowners should be aware that starting a backyard fire on their property without first obtaining a permit, or that violates any of the terms of the permit, could result in a fine of $350 (in addition to a victim surcharge fee if there are complainants).

Burn permits must be obtained by applying in person at the Town of BWG Fire & Emergency Services at 75 Melbourne Drive. We accept cash or cheque only. For current User Fees, please refer to Documents at right.


Per the Ontario Fire Code, burn permits are NOT require for backyard barbeques or CSA-approved gas appliances

Permits ARE required for outdoor wood-burning appliances (e.g. chimineas) and for wood-burning pool heaters.

Important Considerations

Once you receive a burn permit, there are a few very important factors to consider to ensure you are in compliance with the by-law, including but not limited to the following:

  • Is there a fire ban or open-air burning advisory in effect?
    Permit holders are responsible for checking for advisories posted on this website and local media and complying by any burn bans. This also includes smog advisories or high wind advisories.

  • Will smoke and smells bother my neighbours?
    Even if you get a permit, you are not allowed to have an open-air fire if it interferes with your neighbours' ability to enjoy their property or conduct their business. If a complaint is made, you may be required to put out your fire. 

  • Is there a responsible adult available to supervise on site at all times?
    A person over the age of 18 (either the permit-holder or their designate) must actively supervise from the time the fire is started until it is completely extinguished.

  • Do I have the property owner's permission?
    Tenants - both urban and rural - are not permitted to obtain a burn permit without signed authorization from the property owner. An authorization form is available to download and prin from the Documents section at right or at he Fire Station.

  • Will I be using an outdoor wood-burning appliance or having an open-air fire?
    The regulations and fees are different depending on the type of fire. (see below)

  • Do I have room in my yard to host a fire?
    • Both open-air fires and wood-burning appliances must be used in the back yard - not a front or side yard.
    • A wood-burning appliance must be at least 5 metres away from anything that might burn, like a fence or landscaping.
    • An open-air fire must be at least 15 metres away from anything combustible.

  • Are you planning to have a fire after dark?
    • Open air burning is only permitted between sunrise and sunset. 
    • An outdoor wood-burning appliance can be used any time between sunrise and 11:59 pm.