fire burning in metal bin outside

Open-Air Burning

The Township of West Lincoln prohibits open-air burning unless you obtain a burn permit, as per the Town's Open-Air Fire By-law. An "open-air fire" is defined as a fire in any open place, yard, field or area which is not contained or enclosed by a building or structure, and includes agricultural fires, chimineas, bonfires, and campfires.

Gas fired appliances, fire tables and bowls are allowed and do not require a burn permit. 

Burn Permits:

  • Permits are available online - apply from the safety and convenience of your own home
  • There is no fee for farm burn permits on lands zoned for agricultural purposes used for bona fide farming operations
  • Burn permits are valid for the calendar year, and expire on December 31 of each year
    ​​​​​​Apply for your burn permit online

Important Considerations:

  • Recreational fires require a minimum clearance of 5 metres (approximately 16 feet) in all directions between the fire and any building, structure, fence, property line, roadway, overhead wire, or combustible material
  • Many residential properties are not large enough to meet the clearance requirements for a lawful open air fire
  • Any person who sets or maintains an open air fire is responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient clearances around the fire
  • Despite having a valid permit, it is unlawful to set or maintain an open air fire that causes smoke, odour, ashes, or embers to invade a neighbouring property thereby creating a nuisance
  • Residents that fail to comply with the regulations will result in fines and/or fees of $750 per hour for each fire truck that responds to extinguish an unsafe or unlawful fire

Reporting a Concern:

  • Open air burning complaints should be reported while the offence is occurring
  • Serious threat and/or property damage - Call 9-1-1. Remember, this should only be used if it is an emergency situation as the fire department will be dispatched to respond to an emergency.
  • Less serious situations (e.g. smoke is creating a nuisance) - call 905-684-4311, the fire dispatch non-emergency number. A member of the fire department will be dispatched to investigate the complaint.

Open Air Fire By-law 2021-58


Unauthorized burning is a violation of the Ontario Fire Code and is subject to prosecution.

Property owners and tenants are subject to a fee of $750 per hour per fire truck that responds to an unauthorized burn