Open Air Burning


An "open air fire" is defined as a fire in any open place, yard, field or area which is not contained or enclosed by a building or structure, and includes agricultural fires, chimineas, bonfires, and campfires.

Open air burning within the Town of Lincoln is prohibited by the Ontario Fire Code unless an Open Air Fire Permit is obtained. Barbecues, gas-fired appliances, and small fires strictly for cooking purposes that are contained entirely within a metal or masonry container with a metal screen on top are exempt from the permit requirements. Permits are available during regular business hours from the Town of Lincoln Municipal Offices at 4800 South Service Road, Beamsville. Open Air Fire permits are valid for the calendar year.

A summary of the rules for open air burning are printed on the back of the Open Air Fire Permit, and can be viewed here: Open Air Burning Quick Reference Guide  The rules are set out to ensure that all open air burning is conducted safely, responsibly, and lawfully, and that open air burning does not create a fire hazard or public nuisance.

Residents should take note that Recreational Fires require a minimum clearance of 5 metres (approximately 16 feet) in all directions between the fire and any building, structure, fence, property line, roadway, overhead wire, or combustible material. Many residential properties are not large enough to meet the clearance requirements for a lawful open air fire.  Any person who sets or maintains an open air fire is responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient clearances around the fire.

Despite having a valid permit, it is unlawful to set or maintain an open air fire that causes smoke, odour, ashes, or embers to invade a neighbouring property thereby creating a nuisance.

Failure to comply with the rules for open air burning is an offence which could result in prosecution and/or assessment of fees of $650 per hour per truck for the fire department to extinguish the fire.

Open air burning complaints should be reported while the offence is occurring. If there is a serious threat of injury and/or property damage, the fire should be reported by telephoning 911. This is an emergency situation and the fire department will respond accordingly.

For less serious situations (e.g. smoke is creating a nuisance), the fire dispatch non-emergency telephone number 905-684-4311 should be used to report the open air burning complaint. A fire department unit will be dispatched in non-emergency mode to investigate the complaint.

For further information. please contact the Fire Prevention Officer at 905-563-8205 Ext. 255.

4800 South Service Road
Beamsville, Ontario
L0R 1B1

TEL: 905-563-8205
FAX: 905-563-6566
Emergency After-hours: 905-641-0971

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