Open Air Burning
Cornwall residents can apply to the Cornwall Fire Department for a permit to conduct small open-air fires in an approved burning appliance on their property, subject to the conditions set out in the City's Open Air Burning By-law.
Residents are encouraged to carefully review the By-law before filling out the Open Air Burn Permit Application Form. The completed application form must be submitted to Protective Services at the Cornwall Fire Department's Headquarter Station (10 Fourth Street West, behind City Hall) during regular business hours.
A Fire Prevention Officer will conduct an inspection of the open air burning appliance installation to ensure compliance with the Open Air Burning By-law. The application will be processed once the inspection is complete and the Fire Prevention Officer has determined the appliance is in compliance. If the applicant is present at the time of the inspection, he or she will be advised in person whether the installation has been approved. Otherwise, the applicant will be contacted by phone following the inspection.
The cost of an Open Air Burn Permit is $100, payable at the time of issue. Payment may be made by either cash or cheque (made payable to the Cornwall Fire Department). The permits are valid for 3 years from the date of issue.
Regulations & Forms
At certain times of the year and as conditions warrant, the Chief Fire Official may issue a complete ban on open air burning. When a ban is issued, all open air burning is prohibited.
Also, no open air burning will be permitted when a smog alert has been issued for the forecast region of Stormont County, which includes the City of Cornwall.
Only clean, cured wood is to be used for burning. Green wood, painted wood, construction material, garbage, cardboard or recyclable materials are examples of items that should not be burned.
Please note that fires should be small and they should be supervised at all times by an adult. The fire must be extinguished when there is no supervision. Fire extinguishment equipment, such as a garden hose, should be readily available and accessible.
Fires should be kept on a non-combustible surface a minimum of 20 feet (6 metres) from structures and/or property lines. The minimum distance can be at the discretion of the Chief Fire Official or his designate.
Open air burning is permitted from April 1 to October 31, from sunset to midnight.
Keep it Safe!
Please keep the following points in mind for open air burning:
- Never use flammable liquids such as gasoline to start your fire
- Remove all vegetation and other material that could spread the fire
- Maintain close supervision of children and pets
- Be familiar with equipment to extinguish the fire, such as rakes, shovels or garden hose
- Pay attention to wind conditions and potential spark hazards
Be a Good Neighbour
Obtaining authorization to have an open air burn does not relieve an owner from their obligation to comply with the Environmental Protection Act of Ontario. While burning, it is your obligation to ensure that smoke does not interfere with the ability of your neighbours to enjoy their properties or conduct their business without disruption. Watch where your smoke travels and do not burn when there are foggy conditions or wind that will carry your smoke in a direction that will disrupt adjacent roadways or properties.
Complaints and Enforcement
A fire will be extinguished if a permit holder is found not to be in compliance with the Open Air Burning By-law, including the provisions for being a good neighbour, following a complaint received by the Fire Department. In addition, the permit will be suspended until such time as a follow up inspection has been completed and all issues have been addressed.
Persons violating the Ontario Fire Code may be prosecuted under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
If you have any questions about open air burning, please call the Fire Department at (613) 930-2787 ext. 2311.