Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services The City of Sault Ste. Marie

Open-Air Burning Permit Application

Note that you may only purchase Open-Air Burning Permits for properties that you own.

Planning a small fire? The Ontario Fire Code requires that all open-air burning must be approved by Fire Services.

Open-air burning permits can be obtained online at any time using the form below. You may also contact Fire Services at (705) 949-3333 Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to arrange for a burning permit.

Before a new permit can be issued, a Fire Prevention Officer will perform a site inspection (a non-refundable inspection fee applies), at which time conditions for approval will be reviewed.

Approval guidelines address such issues as material to be burned, distances from structures and combustible materials, weather conditions, and so on. Someone must stay with the fire at all times until it is completely extinguished and equipment must be available to extinguish the fire in the event that it gets out of control or is causing an adverse effect.

Sault Fire Services has recently added a significant condition to the open-air burning permit process. A permit will not be issued unless the homeowner agrees to allow the Fire Prevention Officer to check the home's smoke alarm.

If smoke alarms are working and all other terms of approval have been met, an open-air burning permit is issued. Once the permit expires, it is the owner's responsibility to renew the permit, which, in most instances, may be done over the telephone or through this website. (Call (705) 949-3333 to renew an existing permit.)

Obtaining authorization to have an open-air fire does not relieve an owner from the obligation to comply with the Environmental Protection Act of Ontario. While burning, there is an obligation to ensure that smoke does not interfere with the ability of neighbours to enjoy their properties.

Tenants are reminded that written approval of the homeowner will be required prior to issuance of a burning permit for rented properties.

Open-Air Burning Guidelines

The following guidelines are to be strictly adhered to by a person or persons doing the burning. Fire Services takes a "Zero Tolerance" approach to any violation of these approvals.

  1. Open-air burning shall not be permitted unless approved.
  2. Burning must cease prior to 11 p.m.
  3. Burn only dry material. All other material such as petroleum products, plastics, rubber, painted lumber etc., that will cause excessive smoke or fumes must not be burned. Mixed demolition debris is not suitable for open-air burning.
  4. Keep the fire at an approved distance from any structure and/or any combustible material (trees, grass, woodpiles, etc.).
  5. Burn less than 1 cubic metre of material at a time.
  6. Stay with the fire at all times until it is completely extinguished.
  7. Equipment and resources must be available at the burning site to extinguish the fire, in the event that the fire gets out of control or is causing an adverse effect.
  8. Open-air burning must not be conducted during rain or fog (smoke cannot disperse properly), and when wind speeds are high or wind direction changes frequently (fire may spread rapidly).
  9. Common courtesy for your neighbours is expected (i.e. clotheslines, open window, etc.). If we receive a complaint, Fire Services must respond. If the complaint is deemed legitimate, the permit will be cancelled for 90 days and/or charges will be laid under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
  10. Open-air burning will not be approved for Industrial or Commercial occupancies.
  11. Obtaining authorization to have an open-air fire does not relieve an owner from the obligation to comply with the Environmental Protection Act of Ontario.
  12. Tenants are reminded that written approval from the homeowner will be required prior to issuance of a burning permit for rented properties.

Open-air burning is approved under the above noted rules. Any contravention of these rules will result in an immediate 90 day suspension of the permit and/or prosecution under the Ontario Fire Code and Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

Whenever the Ministry of Natural Resources has a ban on burning, all permits in Sault Ste. Marie are cancelled until such time that the ban has been lifted.

Required Permit Details

Permit Type

Note that Fire Services will validate all permit requests. Permits purchased at an incorrect rate may be voided. Properties currently under suspension cannot obtain new permits or renew permits.

New permits purchased online require an inspection and approval before burning is allowed and will expire three years after the date of purchase.

Renewals purchased online become active immediately, and expire four years after the date of purchase.

Renewals purchased online become active immediately, and expire one year after the date of purchase.