Open Air Fire By-law No. 2004 - 163

Disclaimer:

This By-law consolidation has been prepared for reference purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information; however it is not to be used in place of actual by-laws.

Amending by-law numbers:

2004-240
2004-325
2004-493
2006-77
2009-32
2010-261
2011-112

Open Air Fire By-law BY-LAW NO. 2004-163

A by-law of the City of Ottawa to regulate conditions under which fires may be set in the open air.

Burn Zones - SCHEDULES "A" to "P" (PDF)

 

The Council of the City of Ottawa hereby enacts as follows:

DEFINITIONS
1. In this by-law,

"barbecue" means a portable or fixed device designed and intended solely for the cooking of food in the open air, but does not include outdoor fireplaces and campfires.
 

"building" means any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy;
 

"By-law Officer" means a person appointed by the Council of the City of Ottawa as a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer to enforce the provisions of the by-law;
 

"brush fire" means an open air fire where the size of the material to be burned does not exceed 3m in height, width and length and where the open air fire is set and maintained solely for the purposes of burning wood, tree limbs and branches; (By-law No. 2010-261)
 

"burn drum" means an open air fire set and maintained in an open top steel barrel that does not exceed 1.5m in diameter and 1.5m in height and where the open air fire is set and maintained for the purposes of burning wood, tree limbs, branches and non-compostable material limited to paper and sisal twine;
 

"campfire" means an open air fire where the size of the material to be burned does not exceed 60 cm in width and 50 cm in height, that is set and maintained solely for the purposes of cooking food, providing warmth and recreational enjoyment; (By-law No. 2010-261)
 

"campground" means an area of land owned or operated by a person and that contains camp sites for the purpose of providing overnight accommodation for tents and trailers in exchange for monetary payment;
 

"City" means the municipal corporation of the City of Ottawa or the geographic area of the City of Ottawa as the context requires;
 

"combustible material" means material capable of burning including wood, paper, plastic and vegetation;
 

"dangerous condition" means any condition as determined by the Fire Chief that increases the risk of the spread of a fire or is adverse to public safety;
 

"farming business" means a farming business as defined in the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993, S.O. 1993, c. 21, as amended;
 

"fire ban" means a period of time during which the Fire Chief or his designate declares a total ban on open air fires;
 

"firebreak" means open space that surrounds an open air fire and serves as a non-combustible obstacle to the spread of fire;
 

"Fire Chief" means the Chief of Fire Services of the City or authorized designates and includes a By-law Officer;
 

"FPPA" means the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c.4, as amended, and the regulations enacted thereunder as amended from time to time, or any Act or Regulation enacted in substitution therefor;
 

"highway" means a common and public highway and includes any bridge, trestle, viaduct or other structure forming part of the highway and, except as otherwise provided, includes a portion of a highway;

"maintain" means to allow an open air fire to continue to burn and "maintained" and "maintaining" have a corresponding meaning;

“material to be burned” means the total volume of the materials contained in the fire; (By-law No. 2010-261)

"normal farm practice" means a practice that,

  1. is conducted in a manner consistent with proper and acceptable customs and standards as established and followed by similar agricultural operations under similar circumstances, or
  2. makes use of innovative technology in a manner consistent with proper advanced farm management practices;

"old municipality" means the old municipalities of the City of Cumberland, the City of Gloucester, the Township of Goulbourn, the City of Kanata, the City of Nepean, the City of Ottawa, the Township of Rideau, the Township of West Carleton, Township of Osgoode, the Village of Rockcliffe Park and the City of Vanier and "Old Municipalities" has a similar meaning;

"open air fire" means the burning of material such as untreated wood, tree limbs and branches where the flame is not wholly contained and includes campfires, brush fires, burn drums, windrows and outdoor fireplaces, but does not include barbecues; (By-law No. 2010-261)

"outdoor fireplace" means a manufactured, non-combustible, enclosed container designed to hold a small fire for decorative purposes and the size of which does not exceed 1m in any direction and includes, but is not limited, to a chiminea;

"owner" means the registered owner of the land;

"person" means any individual, association, firm, partnership, corporation, agent or trustee and the heirs, executors, or other legal representatives of a person to whom the context can apply according to law;

"set" means to light an open air fire and "setting" has a corresponding meaning;

"windrow" means an open air fire where the size of the material to be burned does not exceed 50m in length, 5m in width and 3m in height and that is set and maintained solely for the purposes of burning wood, tree limbs and branches as part of normal farm practices for clearing agricultural land. (By-law No. 2010-261)

INTERPRETATION
2. (1) In this by-law, a word interpreted in the singular number has a corresponding meaning when used in the plural.
(2) This by-law includes the Schedules annexed hereto and the Schedules are hereby declared to form part of this by-law.
(3) It is declared that if any section, subsection or part or parts thereof be declared by any Court of Law to be bad, illegal or ultra vires, such section, subsection or part or parts shall be deemed to be severable and all parts hereof are declared to be separate and independent and enacted as such.
(4) In this by-law, the word "meter" shall be represented by the abbreviation "m", and the word "centimeter" shall be represented by the abbreviation "cm".
PROHIBITIONS
3. (1) No person shall set or maintain an open air fire without first having obtained the necessary permit from the Fire Chief.
(2) Despite subsection (1), no person shall set or maintain an open air fire in any shaded area shown on any of the maps attached as Schedules "A" to "P" inclusive, Schedule A-1, Schedule B-1, Schedule D-1, Schedule F-1, Schedule F-2, Schedule H-1, Schedule H-2, Schedule K-1, Schedule K-2, Schedule L-1, Schedule O-1 and Schedule P-1. (By-law No. 2010-261)
(3) Subject to subsection (1), no person shall set or maintain an open air fire in the hatched areas on Schedule A, Schedule B, Schedule D, Schedule F, Schedule H, Schedule K, Schedule L, Schedule O and Schedule P unless,
  1. it is a campfire,
  2. it is an open air fire set and maintained in an outdoor fireplace, or
  3. it is a brush fire set and maintained between December 1st and March 31st.
(4) Subject to subsection (1), a person owning or operating a campground as identified on Schedule 2 may apply for a permit to set campfires or open air fires in an outdoor fireplace.
(5) Subject to subsection (1), a person owning and operating a farming business in the shaded areas identified on Schedules "A" to "P" inclusive, Schedule A-1, Schedule B-1, Schedule D-1, Schedule F-1, Schedule F-2, Schedule H-1, Schedule H-2, Schedule K-1, Schedule K-2, Schedule L-1, Schedule O-1 and Schedule P-1 may apply for an agricultural open air fire permit which includes permission to set and maintain a windrow. (By-law No. 2010-261)
(6) No person shall set or maintain an open air fire when a fire ban on open air fires has been issued by the Fire Chief.
APPLICATION FOR AN OPEN AIR FIRE PERMIT
4. (1) Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older may make a written application for an open air fire permit to the Fire Chief prior to the proposed date of the first open air fire.
(2) The application shall include:
  1. the name, address and phone number of the applicant;
  2. the owner's written consent to the open air fire, if the applicant is not the owner of the property;
  3. the municipal address of the location of the proposed open air fire if it differs from the address of the applicant;
  4. the applicable open air fire permit fee in accordance with Schedule 1;
  5. an indemnification in writing or electronically in accordance with the terms of Section 11; and (By-law Nos. 2004-240, 2010-261)
  6. such other information as may be required by the Fire Chief.
(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2), a person who operates a farming business may apply for an agricultural open air fire permit that includes permission to set and maintain a windrow.
(4) In addition to complying with subsections (1) and (2), a person who applies for an agricultural open air fire permit shall also provide, at the time an application is made, the farm business registration number that is issued pursuant to the provisions of the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993, S.O. 1993, c. 21, as amended.
(5) The Fire Chief shall issue an open air fire permit unless,
  1. the application is incomplete;
  2. there are reasonable grounds to believe that the open air fire may be adverse to public safety; or
  3. there are reasonable grounds to believe that the open air fire will result in a breach of this by-law, the FPPA, or any other provincial or federal statute.
CONDITIONS FOR PERMIT ISSUANCE
5. (1) No permit holder shall undertake to set or maintain any open air fire except in accordance with the conditions of the permit.
(2) The permit holder shall comply at all times with the FPPA, and with all other applicable municipal by-laws and provincial and federal laws.
(3) A permit issued under this section is valid on the date of issue and for the balance of the calendar year in which the permit is issued.
(4) No holder of a permit issued under this by-law shall set or maintain an open air fire unless the permit holder,
  1. notifies the Fire Chief for permission on the day of each proposed open air fire;
  2. ensures that a person eighteen (18) years of age or older maintains constant watch and control over the open air fire at all times from the time of the setting of the fire until the fire is totally extinguished;
  3. produces his or her permit upon being so directed by the Fire Chief;
  4. immediately extinguishes the fire upon being so ordered by the Fire Chief;
  5. complies at all times with the requirements of Section 6 and, where applicable, Sections 7, 8, 9 or 10; and
  6. has equipment capable of extinguishing the fire such as rakes, shovels, or water immediately available for use at the site of the open air fire.
(5) The Fire Chief may attach such additional conditions to a permit as he or she deems necessary to ensure public safety.
(6) A permit for an open air fire is not transferable to another person or to a new location. (By-law No. 2004-493)
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN AIR FIRES
6. (1) Where the material to be burned in an open air fire is 2m or less in length, width and height or is in a burn drum, no permit holder shall set or maintain an open air fire,
  1. at a distance of less than 30m from any building, hedge, fence, overhead wiring or a highway and at a distance of less than 25m from another open air fire;
  2. where combustible material, other than a building, hedge, fence, or overhead wiring or a highway is present within a radius of 15m from the open air fire;
  3. where the size of the open air fire will exceed the limits set by this by-law;
  4. that is set or maintained with the aid of flammable or combustible liquids of any kind;
  5. that uses fuel other than wood, tree limbs and branches or, if in a burn drum, fuel other than that permitted in a burn drum;
  6.  that uses prohibited materials, which include grass, leaves, garbage, pressure treated or creosote wood, or any combustibles that produce toxic fumes other than those produced by the burning of untreated wood, tree limbs or branches; (By-law No. 2010-261)
  7. before sunrise and after sunset on any day, with the exception of campfires and outdoor fireplaces that comply with the requirements of this by-law; or (By-law No. 2010-261)
  8. unless the additional conditions specified on the permit deemed necessary by the Fire Chief have been met. (By-law No. 2010-261)
(2) Despite clause (a) of subsection (1), between December 1st of one year and March 31st of the following year, no permit holder shall set or maintain an open air fire at a distance of less than 20m from a building, hedge, fence, overhead wiring or highway. (By-law Nos. 2004-240, 2010-261)
(3) Where the material to be burned in an open air fire is between 2m and 3m in length, width and height, no permit holder shall set or maintain an open air fire, (By-law No. 2010-261)
  1. at a distance of less than 60m from any building, hedge, fence, overhead wiring or a highway and at a distance of less than 25m from another open air fire;
  2. where combustible material other than a building, hedge, fence, or overhead wiring or a highway is present within a radius of 30m from the open air fire; and
  3. (c) unless the permit holder complies with the conditions of subsection (1), clauses (c) to (h) inclusive. (By-law No. 2010-261)
(4) Despite clause (a) of subsection (3), between December 1st of one year and March 31st of the following year, no permit holder shall set or maintain an open air fire at a distance of less than 40m from a building, hedge, fence, overhead wiring or highway. (By-law Nos. 2004-240, 2010-261)
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CAMPFIRES
7. Despite clauses (a), (b) and (g) of subsection 6(1), no permit holder shall set or maintain any campfire,
  1. where the material to be burned exceeds 60 cm in width at the largest point or is piled higher than 50 cm in height;
  2. that uses material other than dry firewood;
  3. unless in compliance with the requirements of subsection 6(1), clauses (c) to (f) inclusive and clause (h); and (By-law No. 2010-261)unless the campfire is located a distance of not less than 15m from any building, hedge, fence, overhead wiring or other combustible material or a highway where the campfire is not surrounded by non-combustible material; or
  4. unless the campfire is located a distance of not less than 10m from any building, hedge, fence, overhead wiring or other combustible material or a highway where the campfire is surrounded by non-combustible material to a minimum height of 30cm.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR OUTDOOR FIREPLACES
8. Despite clauses (a), (b) and (g) of subsection 6(1), no permit holder shall set or maintain an open air fire in an outdoor fireplace unless,
  1. the outdoor fireplace is located a distance of not less than 5 meters from any building, hedge, fence, overhead wiring or other combustible material or a highway and is equipped with a spark arrester;
  2. the outdoor fireplace is located on a non-combustible surface extending beyond the outdoor fireplace to a dimension equal to the height of the outdoor fireplace;
  3. the outdoor fireplace uses only dry firewood; and
  4. in compliance with the requirements of subsection 6(1), clauses (c) to (f) inclusive and clause (h). (By-law No. 2010-261)
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR WINDROWS
9. No permit holder shall set or maintain an open air fire that is a windrow unless,
  1. the windrow does not exceed the size limits set out in this by-law;
  2. the windrow is located a distance of not less than 90m from a building, overhead wiring or highway;
  3. the windrow is located a distance of not less than 60m from a wooden fence rail, hedge or standing timber;
  4. subject to clauses (b) and (c), the windrow is located a distance of not less than 30m from any other combustible material;
  5. a firebreak of 5m in width surrounds the windrow until the open air fire is extinguished;
  6. the windrow is constructed at right angles to the prevailing wind direction;
  7. the windrow is constructed on soil other than peat soil types;
  8. there is a separation distance of at least 15m between the ends of the windrows and at least 25m between parallel windrows, if more than one windrow is set and maintained at the same time at the same location;
  9. the windrow is set first at its centre;
  10. the windrow is set and maintained only between Monday to Friday, inclusive;
  11. the permit holder notifies the Fire Chief each day that the windrow is set and maintained until the windrow is extinguished;
  12. the permit holder ceases to add material to the windrow if a fire ban comes into effect;
  13. the permit holder uses best efforts to aerate and separate any soil from wood, tree limbs and branches in the windrow;
  14. the permit holder ensures that a person eighteen (18) years of age or older maintains constant watch and control over the windrow from the time of the setting of the windrow until there is no visible open flame; and
  15. the permit holder complies with conditions of clauses (d) to (f) inclusive and clause (h) of subsection 6(1). (By-law No. 2010-261)
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC EVENT
10. (1) Despite subsection 3(2) of this by-law, a community not-for-profit organization or a religious institution may apply in writing to the Fire Chief for an open air fire permit to conduct campfires or open air fires in an outdoor fireplace for cultural, religious or recreational specific events.
(2) The requirements of Section 4 of this by-law apply to an application under subsection (1).
(3) The Fire Chief may issue an open air fire permit subject to compliance with Section 7 or 8 as applicable and any additional conditions imposed by the Fire Chief.
(4) A site inspection of the proposed site of the open air fire may be required by the Fire Chief prior to issuing a permit.
(5) A permit issued pursuant to subsection (3) is valid only for the day or days of the specific event.
(6) Despite subsection (5), a permit may be issued to the same community not-for-profit organization or religious institution for the same location for setting and maintaining a campfire or an open air fire in an outdoor fireplace at more than one event during the calendar year and this permit shall be valid for the calendar year.
(7) No permit holder for a specific event open air fire shall set or maintain a campfire or an outdoor fireplace that is not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (3).
DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY – UPDATING MAPS (SCHEDULES)
10A. (1)  The Fire Chief is authorized to approve amendments to the Schedules to By-law No. 2004-163, as amended, being the Open Air Fire By-law, to amend the boundaries of areas in which open air fires may be set or maintained provided that:
  1. the affected Ward Councillor concurs with the amendment;
  2. the amendment is a result of a change in one (1) or more of the following factors:
      i. population density;
      ii. building density;
      iii. risk management issues, including but not limited to incidence of false alarms and proximity to forested areas;
  3. reporting of activities of delegation to the appropriate Standing Committee at least once in each calendar year;
(2) The City Clerk and Solicitor is authorized to proceed directly to Council by way of placing a by-law on the Agenda of Council to implement the authority of the Fire Chief pursuant to subsection (1).
(By-law No. 2010-261)
INDEMNIFICATION
11. The applicant shall indemnify and save harmless the City of Ottawa from any and all claims, demands, causes of action, losses, costs or damages that the City of Ottawa may suffer, incur or be liable for resulting from the open air fires as set out in the by-law whether with or without negligence on the part of the applicant, the applicant's employees, directors, contractors and agents.
REVOCATION
12. (1) Permits issued to a permit holder under this by-law may be revoked by the Fire Chief if, in the opinion of the Fire Chief, a dangerous condition exists in or near the site of the open air fire.
(2) Permits issued to a permit holder under this by-law may be revoked by the Fire Chief if the permit holder fails to comply with the requirements of the permit or permits and any other provisions of this by-law.
EXEMPTIONS
13. (1) The Ottawa Fire Service shall be exempt from the provisions of this by-law with respect to open air fires for the purposes of training, educating individuals in fire safety or for research purposes.
(2) Professional fire prevention trainers shall be exempt from the provisions of this by-law with respect to open air fires set for the purposes of fire safety training pursuant to Section 2.8.2.1 of the Fire Code.
(3) The City shall be exempt from the provisions of this by-law with respect to open air fires related to municipal works.
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
14. (1) Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this by-law is guilty of an offence.
(2) Every person who is convicted of an offence under this by-law is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter P.33.
(3) Where a person has been convicted of an offence under this by-law,
  1. the Ontario court of Justice, or
  2. any court of competent jurisdiction thereafter may, in addition to any other penalty imposed on the person convicted, issue an order prohibiting the continuation or repetition of the offence or the doing of any act or thing by the person convicted directed towards the continuation or repetition of the offence. (By-law No. 2004-325)
15. Every person who sets a fire in contravention of this by-law or who fails to extinguish a fire once ordered to do so by the Fire Chief shall, in addition to any penalty provided for herein, be liable to the City for all expenses incurred for the purpose of investigating, controlling and extinguishing any fire set or left to burn as approved by City Council, and such expenses may be recovered by court action or in a like manner as municipal taxes.
REPEAL
16. The following by-laws and portions of by-laws of the old municipalities are repealed:
  1. By-law No. 29 of 1974 of the old Corporation of the Township of West Carleton entitled "Fire Regulation: A by-law for the purpose of appointing Fire Wardens and regulating the setting of fires and providing for their extinguishment";
  2. Section 15 of By-law No. 143-89 of the old Corporation of the City of Kanata entitled "Being a By-law of the Corporation of the City of Kanata relating to Fire Prevention and Fire Safety";
  3. By-law # 113-1990 of the old Corporation of the Township of Osgoode entitled "Being a By-law of the Township of Osgoode respecting conditions under which fires may be set in the open air";
  4. By-law No. 62/95 of the old Corporation of the Township of Rideau entitled "Being a By-law to regulate the conditions under which fires may be set in the open air";
  5. By-law No. 35-93 of the old Corporation of the Township of Goulbourn entitled "Being a by-law of the Corporation of the Township of Goulbourn respecting conditions under which fires may be set in the open air", as amended;
  6. Section 12 of By-law No. 51 of 1974 of the Corporation of the City of Gloucester entitled "A By-law of the Township of Gloucester to establish a Fire Prevention Division within the established Fire Department of the Township of Gloucester", as amended;
  7. Section 16 of By-law Number 119-97 of the old Corporation of the City of Ottawa entitled "A by-law of The Corporation of the City of Ottawa respecting fire prevention", as amended; and
  8. Subsections 20 to 24 inclusive of Section 5 of By-law Number 2062 of the old Corporation of the City of Cumberland entitled "For preventing fires, the spread of fire and the preservation of life".
TRANSITION
17. Open air fire permits issued in 2004 pursuant to the provisions of an open air fire by-law of an old municipality shall be valid until the effective date of this by-law.
CONFLICT WITH OTHER BY-LAWS
18. In the event of any conflict between the provision of this by-law and any other by-law regarding the regulation of open air fires, including the by-laws referred to in Section 16, the provisions of this by-law shall prevail, but nothing in this by-law shall invalidate the enforceability of other provisions of those by-laws.
19. By-law No. 143-89 of the old Corporation of the City of Kanata entitled "Being a By-law of the Corporation of the City of Kanata relating to Fire Prevention and Fire Safety" is amended by adding the following section thereto immediately after Section 17:
  18. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this by-law and the Open Air Fire By-law regarding open air fires, the Open Air Fire By-law shall prevail but nothing in the Open Air Fire By-law shall invalidate the enforceability of other provisions of this by-law.
20. By-law No. 51 of 1974 of the old Corporation of the City of Gloucester entitled "A By-law of the Township of Gloucester to establish a Fire Prevention Division within the established fire Department of the Township of Gloucester", as amended, is amended by adding the following section thereto immediately after Section 20:
  20A. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this by-law and the Open Air Fire By-law regarding open air fires, the Open Air Fire By-law shall prevail but nothing in the Open Air Fire By-law shall invalidate the enforceability of other provisions of this by-law.
21. By-law Number 119-97 of the old Corporation of the City of Ottawa entitled "A by-law of The Corporation of the City of Ottawa respecting fire prevention" is amended by adding the following section thereto immediately after Section 28:
  28A. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this by-law and the Open Air Fire By-law regarding open air fires, the Open Air Fire By-law shall prevail but nothing in the Open Air Fire By-law shall invalidate the enforceability of other provisions of this by-law.
22. By-law Number 2062 of the old Corporation of the City of Cumberland entitled "for preventing fires, the spread of fire and for the preservation of life" is amended by adding the following section immediately after Section 24:
  25. In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this by-law and the Open Air Fire By-law regarding open air fires, the Open Air Fire By-law shall prevail but nothing in the Open Air Fire By-law shall invalidate the enforceability of other provisions of this by-law.
SHORT TITLE
23. This by-law may be referred to as the "Open Air Fire By-law".
EFFECTIVE DATE
33. This by-law shall come into force on May 1, 2004.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 14th day of April, 2004.

  CITY CLERK            MAYOR

 

SCHEDULE 1

Open Air Fire Permit Fees
(By-law No. 2011-112)

Annual Open Air Fire Permit: $13.00/permit

Agricultural Open Air Fire Permit: $13.00 for up to and including 4 permits

Specific Event Open Air Fire Permit: $50.00/permit

SCHEDULE 2

Campgrounds

 

Campground Municipal Address
Ottawa-Nepean Tent and Trailer Park 411 Corkstown Road
Rideau Heights Campsite 38 Rideau Heights Drive