On Thursday July 5, 2018, the Muskoka Fire Chiefs upgraded the fire danger rating to EXTREME. Throughout the entire District of Muskoka all open air burning and fireworks are prohibited until further notice. This past weekend each municipal fire department responded to numerous burning complaints. This tells us some residents and visitors to Muskoka are either not aware or not taking the ban seriously.
The District of Muskoka is designated as Wildland-Urban Interface. What this means is we have residential and commercial structures surrounded by forest fuels. The hot temperatures and lack of moisture over the last few weeks has created favourable conditions for wildfires.
All it will take is an ember from a fire, effect from fireworks, an improperly discarded cigarette, or spark from train to start a fire that can quickly get out of control.
The Muskoka Fire Chiefs and Prevention Officers are pleading with residents to be vigilant and report any open air burning or fireworks in their area during the fire ban.
- Daytime, Monday to Friday – Municipal Offices, during office hours (check with your municipality, as hours differ), if the fire is contained,. If the fire is out of control, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- After hours, evenings and weekends – check with your municipality as procedures differ. If out of control, contact 9-1-1 immediately.
If you are burning during the fire ban you may charged under the bylaw and receive a significant fine and/or be charged with the expense of the vehicles and personnel attending the fire.
(For outdoor burning information in Huntsville, visit huntsville.ca. If you have an outdoor burning complaint in Huntsville/Lake of Bays, contact the Huntsville By-law Enforcement Department at (705) 789-6421 Ext. 3039 or Ext. 3041, or the Lake of Bays By-law Enforcement Department at (705) 635-2272 Ext. 246. If the fire is unattended or out of control call 911. )
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