TOTAL FIRE BAN FOR MUSKOKA - OPEN FIRES PROHIBITED THROUGHOUT COTTAGE COUNTRY

Posted On Friday April 03, 2020

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 3, 2020

 

OPEN FIRES PROHIBITED THROUGHOUT COTTAGE COUNTRY

MNRF Implements Fire Ban

Gravenhurst,ON - Though there may still be a small amount of snow cover on the ground in some areas, fire officials from across Muskoka are welcoming the TOTAL FIRE BAN imposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as of 12:01 AM today. With the fire season officially underway and the risk of grass, brush and forest fires growing daily, the restriction on open fires is necessary to prevent accidental fires related to burning. The MNRF has imposed a “Restricted Fire Zone” for much of the Province, in part due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and its potential impact on fire services.

“Spring can be a very dangerous time for wildfires until green-up occurs,” said Larry Brassard, Gravenhurst Fire Chief. “Operationally, mitigating risks and only utilizing equipment and personnel as absolutely required extends our ability to continue to provide services, so if it’s possible to prevent fires started by prohibiting open air burning, it makes sense to do so.”

A total fire ban is in effect in the Town of Gravenhurst which means that no fires of any type are permitted, including fires for cooking and/or warmth. “The Gravenhurst By-Law Division is enforcing the total fire ban with a zero tolerance policy on complaint basis with charges and fines ranging between $200.00 to $350.00 per offence,” said Dustin Gronc, Manager of By-Law Services. 

Persons who witness violations of the ban have several options. If the fire is not a safety hazard and emergency services are not required, residents and visitors are advised to report their concerns to the By-law department at 705-687-3412 ext. 241 or Online by visiting www.gravenhurst.ca/reportit . Please make sure to provide the exact address of the property, time of the offence, and provide call back information, which is confidential. Officers will investigate and follow up with concerns.

If a fire is out of control and poses a real threat to life, safety, or property, please phone 9-1-1 and the fire department will respond. “If the fire department has to respond to an incident involving open air burning, Town policy is to invoice the property owner for all associated costs,” said Breyan Sinnott, Fire Prevention Officer. “Costs are billed out at an hourly rate per truck plus staff costs. If multiple trucks are needed, these costs can easily be in the thousands of dollars, so we’re encouraging people not to tempt fate,” she added.

The fire ban will be in place until further notice. Yard debris gathered as part of spring clean-up should be taken to the local landfill site. The community’s cooperation and understanding is appreciated as the Town of Gravenhurst takes the necessary precautions to keep our community safe.

Information on the most current fire conditions, including if the fire ban has been lifted, can be found Online at www.Gravenhurst.ca/fire or by calling 705-687-3414.

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For further inquiries or to report an open air burning concern, please contact:

Dustin Gronc, Manager of By-Law Services

705-687-3412 ext. 266 / dustin.gronc@gravenhurst.ca  

For more information on fire prevention, please contact:

Breyan Sinnott, Fire Prevention Officer

705-687-3414 ext. 223 / breyan.sinnott@gravenhurst.ca