Open Air Burning Regulations

Open air burning is currently not permitted within the City of Cornwall and is enforceable under Ontario Fire Code Article 2.4.4.4. Provincial regulations apply as there is currently no municipal by-law. Council may choose to create a municipal by-law in the future.

Open air burning includes campfires, bonfires, fire pits, sky lanterns and the use of various types of outdoor fireplaces (also known as a “chiminea”). Although outdoor fireplaces can be purchased at retail outlets throughout the city, it does not mean open air burning is permitted for their use. Solid fuel burning appliances are unacceptable.

Ontario Fire Code (Div. B of Sentence 2.4.4.4 (1) and Div. B of Sentence 2.4.4.4 (2))

  1. Open-air burning shall not take place unless
    1. it has been approved, or
    2. the open-air burning consists of a small, confined fire that is
      1. used to cook food on a grill, barbecue or spit,
      2. commensurate with the type and quantity of food being cooked, and
      3. supervised at all times.
  2. Sentence (1) does not apply to the use of an appliance that
    1. meets the requirements of the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000,
    2. is for outdoor use,
    3. if assembled, has been assembled in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and
    4. if installed, has been installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

At no time is it permissible to burn leaves, rubbish or anything else that is not related to cooking as described above. To learn about yard waste disposal in the City of Cornwall, please click here.

Any open air burning that does not meet the above requirements in the Ontario Fire Code shall be extinguished. Cornwall Fire Services will continue to respond to calls regarding illegal and dangerous burning. Illegal open air burning can be reported by calling 911.

Gas Fire Pits (Campfire Effect Units) are designed to operate with propane or natural gas. They are intended for outdoor use only, not for food preparation. In Cornwall, patio campfire units that are ULC and CSA approved, and meet the requirements of the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000, are deemed “approved” under the Fire Code, provided they are supervised at all times, and operated in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions in a safe manner and location away from combustibles.

Permit Refunds

Residents who previously purchased open air burning permits will be refunded for the unused portion of their permit. Please fill out this form to request a refund. Cornwall Fire Services will process all refunds by July 2020.

Questions? Email Fire Prevention Officers: Cliff Crites or Terry Lauzon.

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