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.
How to get a Burn Permit
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.
If you are a tenant, you require permission from the property owner to obtain a burn permit. Download the form at right and have it completed by the property owner, and bring it with you when applying for the permit.
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.
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 with any burn bans. This also includes smog advisories or high wind advisories. The Fire Rating page is accessible under Links at right.
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 print from the Documents section at right or at the 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*. (click for User Fees)
Outdoor Wood Burning Appliance Burn Permit – Conducted within a portable or fixed appliance as per the definitions as set out in the By-law. Permitted between the hours of sunrise and 11:59 pm.
Open Air Burn Permit – Conducted in the open or in a barrel or drum between the hours of sunrise and sunset of the same day.
Agricultural Burn Permit – Conducted as part of a normal farm practice on lands zoned for agricultural use.
*All Permits are subject to the specific conditions as set out by the Open Air Burning By-law.
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 (16 ft) away from property lines and anything that might burn, like a fence, deck, shed or landscaping.
- An open-air fire must be set back at least 15 metres (50 ft) from property lines and anything combustible.
Am I 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.