Province-wide Restricted Fire Zone in effect during COVID-19 epidemic
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
In a news release on April 2 the Government of Ontario announced, starting April 3, a Restricted Fire Zone for the entire province (Zones 1 to 36) will be in effect during the COVID-19 epidemic.
“The Ontario government is taking action to protect people and communities from the risk of preventable human-caused fires and to ensure that the province's emergency response system remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak. Starting April 3, 2020, Ontario's entire legislated fire region will be designated a Restricted Fire Zone. Residents who live in an area with a restricted fire zone cannot have an outdoor fire—this includes burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fire place or fire pit,” the release stated.
“This restriction will remain in place until Ontario's ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Local municipalities are working to update their websites with information for residents. Meanwhile, Ontarians can learn about the rules under a Restricted Fire Zone at ontario.ca/page/outdoor-fire-restrictions,” the release further read.
“During this very challenging time when we are fighting the spread of the virus, our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of Ontario," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "We are putting these important preventative measures in place now to ensure that our emergency responders are able to focus their efforts where they are needed most."
To see a map of Ontario’s fire region, and for more information, visit ontario.ca/forestfires.