As we head into the first real long weekend of the spring, many visitors and residents will take to the outdoors to enjoy what northwestern Ontario has to offer, which could include a campfire to end the night.

Kenora Fire and Emergency Services wants residents and visitors to enjoy themselves this May long weekend but also wants fire safety to be a priority as well.

“If you’re going to have a campfire within the city limits, just follow our burn regulations, keep it small and controllable, have a way to put the fire out, make sure there are no combustibles around it that could spread the fire, and just be extremely safe with it,” says Kenora Fire Chief, Kent Readman.

Recreational or campfires must not be larger than 1 m round and 1/2 meter high and contained by rock, metal, or cement. Campfires must be monitored at all times. Always have enough water to put the fire out.

The controlled burning season came into effect on April 1 and runs until October 31, where residents can start burning in the evening two hours before sunset until two hours after sunrise.

For anything more than a campfire that is larger than 1 m round and 1/2 meter high, and contained by rock, metal, or cement, Readman noted that a permit will be required.

When a city-wide fire ban is issued, or a Restricted Fire Zone is declared by the Province, all burn permits are canceled and no outside burning or fireworks displays are allowed. 

If caught burning outside of the perimeters people could be subject to a $200 and up fine through the Provincial Offences Act. If the fire gets too out of hand Readman said people could go through a bill-back service where the fire department would provide a bill for what it cost to put out the fire.