The City of St. Catharines has issued a total fire ban on all open-air burning until further notice due to prolonged dry weather conditions.

Fire Chief Dave Upper has issued the ban effective immediately. The order prohibits all open-air burning, including cooking fires, fireworks, sparklers and any other types of outdoor burning.

Individuals that hold Agricultural Burn Permits issued by the City are forewarned that
agricultural fires are completely banned as well and that those found burning under their permits will be charged and will have their permits revoked. Individuals found not complying with the ban will be charged under the Ontario Fire Code and could face fines of up to $50,000.

“The open-air burning ban is in place to ensure the safety of all residents,” said Fire Chief Dave Upper. “There will be zero-tolerance and no warnings. The last thing we want to see here in St. Catharines are out-of-control fires like the ones currently burning in Quebec and parts of Ontario.”

The air quality index for Niagara Region is currently sitting at a high-risk level seven and is expected to reach level nine by Thursday. Other local-area municipalities such as Lincoln and West Lincoln have already issued their own bans. More burn prohibitions are expected across Niagara region in the coming days.

The open-air burning ban will remain in place until the risk of fire spreading has been reduced to a manageable level by sustained rainfall and cooler temperatures.

Barbecues are still permitted under the ban, but the fire chief advises residents to keep a close eye on barbeques and reminds residents that open-air cooking fires are not allowed until the total ban is lifted.

For more information contact Fire Prevention at 905.688.5601 ext. 4224.

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