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Outdoor Burning

Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances (OSFBA)

As the weather warms and the snow disappears, you may start to feel the lure of lighting up your backyard chimnea or fireplace. But before you do, make sure you:

Chimneas or fireplaces you use outdoors, in the eyes of the City, are considered Outdoor Solid Fuel Appliances (OSFBAs). The OSFBA permit By-Law was passed in 2007 to ensure fire safety and wellbeing, as well as to educate residents of requirements and their responsibilities. It is not to be confused with the Open Air Burning By-Law for fire pits (and containers not under the OSFBA category), which require a permit every time you plan to burn.

Things to Know Before Lighting a Backyard Fire

  • The permit only applies to the use of an approved OSFBA;
  • An approved OSFBA is designed to use solid fuel, is made of noncombustible material, is enclosed on all sides, has spark arresting device for all vents and chimneys;
  • Tenants require the owner's permission to obtain a permit. Tenants must apply in person at 155 Dunlop Street West with the owner's permission in writing (email/letter) to obtain a permit;
  • The fire must be kept to a minimum: 4m from any dwelling or structure, 2m from any combustible materials, 5m from the forest or woodland, 3m from overhanging vegetation;
  • Burning is only allowed from 8am till midnight;
  • Burn dry and clean wood only;
  • Do not burn when wind speed is more than 20km/h, rain or fog is present, or when a burn ban is in place;
  • Should a ban come into effect, the City will update their website, a press release will be issued, and notices will be posted via Twitter and Facebook.

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