Ottawa Fire Services is ordering an immediate outdoor fire ban for the entire city, and officials warned of a “zero tolerance” policy in a statement Friday afternoon.
All open fires are prohibited under a ban, even on properties that have a permit.
The ban applies to agricultural burns, brush pile burns, campfires and wood-fired outdoor fireplaces.
Appliances that do not require a permit (propane, ethanol and natural gas outdoor fireplaces and grills) are not covered by the ban.
Fire officials said a ban has been implemented based on environmental conditions to prevent the rapid spread of grass and bush fires.
A large amount of dry vegetation left over from last fall “can quickly lead to rapid and uncontrolled spread of fire,” officials said Friday. “This ban will remain in place until conditions improve and the green grass begins to show itself through tall, dead grass. We thank the residents of the area for their patience and cooperation in this matter.”
Officials said carelessly discarded cigarettes continue to be a major cause of grass fires during these dry periods, and said smokers are reminded to be careful when knocking out and not throwing lit cigarettes out of vehicle windows.