St. Marys residents reminded to follow open-air burning rules

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With some warm weather here, the St. Marys Fire Department is reminding residents about obtaining an Open-Air Burn Permit before having a backyard campfire.

An Open-Air Burn Permit is required by by-law for all open air burning in town, including backyard campfires and outdoor fireplaces. “The by-law exists to strike a balance between public safety and improving customer service,” said St. Marys Fire Chief Richard “Andy” Anderson. “It’s nice for people who wish to have a small campfire for recreational use and for warmth. However, it’s important to keep in mind neighbours that may have an increased sensitivity to smoke and smells in the air.”

The Open-Air Burn By-Law provides guidelines for when open air fires can be set, how big fires can be, what materials can be burned, and how far fires must be from structures such as houses and sheds. The by-law also authorizes the Fire Chief or his delegate to issue an Order to Discontinue Activity and an Order to Extinguish.

The permit costs $25, and can be applied for easily through the online Open Air Burn Permit Application Form at, or in person at the St. Marys Fire Department (172 James Street South) during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Payment can be made online through the form, or in person with cash or cheque after completing the online form.

Payment does not guarantee that your application will be approved. Approval can take up to two business days and you will receive an email to confirm that your application has been approved or denied. You will be given a refund if your application is denied.  Please save a copy of the email you receive on your device or print a copy for your records.

The Fire Department reminds residents to never leave a fire unattended, never burn when it is windy and always have a source of water available to be able to extinguish the fire.


For media inquiries:

Richard “Andy” Anderson | Director of Emergency Services/Fire Chief

519-274-3939 |