SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – April 30th, 2020 – Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services imposed a community wide open-air burn ban effective noon, March 23, 2020, accompanied by the province of Ontario implementing open-air burning restrictions on April 2. Since this time, Fire Services has proceeded with 21 charges on city residents for having open-air burning fires within the community.
The open-air burning ban continues to be imposed for the foreseeable future. “At this point, the weather will not change the ban being lifted,” said Public Education Officer Aaron Gravelle. “This is not about if it is too dry or if we have had heavy amounts of rain, this is about not tying-up our resources with non-emergency calls.”
Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services will continue to pursue prosecutions regarding anyone caught burning under this ban. “During these times, SSMFS can ill afford to have our crews responding to these types of non-emergency complaints,” stated Fire Chief Peter Johnson. “The community must adhere to this ban or face charges under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.”
The Fire Protection and Prevention Act prescribes fines for contraventions of the Ontario Fire Code to be up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment.