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April 24, 2007
Open air burning is prohibited in Toronto
The Toronto Fire Services would like to reissue a reminder to the public regarding outdoor fireplaces, firepits, and chiminea devices after receiving numerous calls from the public this past weekend. Open air burning is not permitted within the City of Toronto as per the Ontario Fire Code; these devices as designed emit an open flame.

Open air burning includes the use of various types of outdoor fireplaces. Units vary in design from a steel firebox with a screened opening and short vent stack to a clay fire pot with an opening for fuel loading and a vent stack; they are also known as "Chimineas." Although outdoor fireplaces can be purchased at retail outlets throughout the city, open air burning is not permitted unless such burning is used to cook food on a grill or a barbecue and is restricted to a small, confined fire that is supervised at all times.

Concerns regarding the use of these units include: injury to persons coming into contact with the appliance’s hot surface, fire exposure hazards from sparks/embers, property damage and the potential for grass fire. People who disregard the law and conduct any type of open air burning could face prosecution for contravening the Ontario Fire Code. Any open air burning fire that fails to meet the listed conditions shall be ordered extinguished by Toronto Fire Services.

“The purpose of this requirement is to protect people, their property, and the environment from the high risk of being exposed to fire,” stated Fire Chief Bill Stewart. “Approval to conduct open air burning must be received from the Fire Chief or Chief Officers of the Fire Prevention Division.” Any open air burning fire that fails to meet all of the listed conditions shall be ordered extinguished by Toronto Fire Services.

For further information, please contact Toronto Fire Services, Fire Prevention Division by calling Access Toronto at 416-338-0338. You can also visit:

Media contact:
Toronto Fire Services Media Line



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