The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is lifting the Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) banning outdoor fires in large parts of Ontario as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in time for the Victoria Day long weekend.
The province’s legislated fire region, which includes northern and parts of central and eastern Ontario, was designated an RFZ on Thursday, April 3 to prevent human-caused fires and aid emergency responders during the pandemic.
“The MNRF would like to thank the public for their cooperation. Please continue to remain diligent in reducing the number of human-caused fires during these challenging times,” officials stated on Friday, May 15.
Outdoor fires, including burning grass, debris, and campfires — even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or pit, are banned in RFZs.
Municipal bans lifted
The move comes after some municipalities outside of the zone lifted their own burn bans earlier this month.
Kawartha Lakes, for example, lifted its ban on May 8, although its burn hazard index remains set at high. The northern part of the municipality is in the zone, so residents in places like Norland, Kinmount, and Burnt River can now also have fires.