outdoor fire pit burning

Open air burning includes bonfires, fire pits, sky lanterns and the use of various types of outdoor fireplaces, including gas, electric and wood burning.

A permit is required for all burning in East Gwillimbury. Residents can apply for recreational, open air and oversized burn permits online.

Burning do's
  • Use untreated wood.
  • Burn stumps, branches, logs, brush.
  • Keep fires at least 10 metres (32.8’) from any building, structure, overhead wire, vehicular road way, hedge, or anything that may burn or melt.
  • Ensure there is nothing above that could catch fire.
  • Have tools on hand to put the fire out (watering hose, 15 litre bucket of water, or an extinguisher).
  • Have a phone on hand to call Emergency Services if needed.
  • Have a responsible adult supervising the fire at all times (must be legal age of 18 years).
Burning don'ts
  • Don’t burn any materials that are normally collected under municipal garbage, recycling or yard waste programs including leaves, and grass clippings.
  • Don’t add any flammable accelerants/liquids.
  • Don’t burn construction materials.
  • Don’t start or maintain a fire when conditions could lead to excessive smoke, possible spread of the fire beyond containment, or decreased visibility on roadways.
  • Don’t have a fire in an uncontained space or on a combustible surface which could lead to the spread of fire.
  • Don’t burn when there is a burning ban in place.
General outdoor burning
  • Always supervise all outdoor fires.
  • When you are done with the fire ensure it is completely extinguished by pouring water or sand on fire.
  • Always have a hose, bucket of water, sand nearby in case the fire gets out of control.
  • Supervise children around any outdoor fires including campfires, fire pits, and chimineas.
  • Never burn plastics, construction debris, treated lumber, tires, pesticides, paint, or aerosol containers.
  • Avoid burning on windy or dry days, embers from open burns can ignite nearby structures or cause wildfires.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a fire. 
Campfire safety
  • Before having a campfire, check with local municipal by-laws in that area if campfires are allowed.
  • Keep campfires small, which is easier to control.
  • Make sure you check with municipal town ships for fire bans and or fire allowance.
  • Supervise children and pets while the campfire is burning. Make a three foot (one metre) kid free zone around the campfire.
  • When you are done with the campfire ensure it is completely extinguished by pouring water or sand on fire.
  • Always have a hose, bucket of water, sand nearby in case the fire gets out of control.
Fire pit safety and maintenance
  • Place fire pit on a surface that is level and will not catch on fire, such as patio block, bricks or concrete.
  • Clear area around fire pit of any falls risks including uneven ground, rocks, or sticks that hang over the pit area.
  • Keep fire pits away from siding, decks, deck railings, tents, grass/vegetation and out from under eaves and overhanging branches or structures. Refer to municipal by-laws for approved distances for fire pit placement.
  • For wood burning fire pits, only burn clean, dry hardwood that's been seasoned for at least six months.
  • Arrange chairs a safe distance from the fire pit.
  • Avoid loose-fitting clothing that can be ignited by flames, sparks and blowing embers.
  • With wood burning fire pits, dispose of ashes after they have completely cooled. Empty the ashes in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only for ashes. Place the container away from anything that can melt or burn. Never empty the ashes directly into the trash. 
Learn more on the NFPA website.