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Types of Fire Permits

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue reminds citizens that any outdoor burning within the City of Thunder Bay requires a permit. Permit rules and regulations are strictly enforced and failure to obtain a permit or follow the permit rules will result in prosecution and fine.

Open Air Fire Permits are for burning of brush in Zone A.  Recreational Burn Permits are for fire pits in back yards. Special Occasion Fire Permits are used for fires that are not used for cooking purposes. If a Special Occasion Fire Permit is requested, we will inspect the area to ensure it meets the requirements set out in the permit guidelines. A Special Occasion Fire Permit must be applied for in-person.

Please Apply Online or Apply In-person for a Fire Permit.

View the Fire Permit Zone Map to see if you are able to burn brush on your property.

Permits for burning of brush will be issued and valid for January 1 to May 31 (inclusive) and October 1 to December 31.

The use of Fire Pits, Outdoor Fireplaces and Chimineas are NOT PERMITTED in the City of Thunder Bay without a permit.

Propane and Natural Gas fuelled fire bowls that are CSA approved do not require a fire permit.

There are some requirements that must be followed for a Special Occasion Fire Permit. These include:

  • The distance the fire has to be away from a building
  • The size of the fire
  • The water supply necessary
  • The level of supervision 
  • What can and can't be burned.

There is a fee for this permit that covers the duration of the event.
** Please Note: Special occasion permits will require a minimum of 5 business days to process.

All Special Occasion Fire Permits should be filled out online or can be dropped off at Station 1, 330 Vickers St N, Fire Prevention Division, 807-625-2103.

 

 On-site open burning fire guidelines

 
  • Open burning (brush piles) will only be permitted no sooner than two hours before sunset and the fire must be extinguished no later than two hours after sunrise.
  • Brush to be burned, must be in piles, maximum 6 feet (2 metres) high, 6 feet (2 metres) in diameter and 20 feet (7 seven metres) between the piles.
  • Adjoining lot clearance restrictions for Open Burning will be established at 10 meters (33 feet) from any combustible materials or structure.
  • Clean brush and other vegetation only may be burned, NO trash, such as garbage, tires, plastics, roofing or other building materials.
  • No less than two persons will be present at all times during burning operations, with adequate firefighting equipment.

 Conditions to burn

 
  • Open Fire Burning Permits (brush piles) will be issued and are valid for Jan.1 to May 31 (inclusive) and Oct.1 to December 31.
  • No unapproved burning will take place as per the Ontario Fire Code. Burning will only be permitted after a permit is acquired.
  • A $40.00 fee will be collected for a New Fire Permit which includes the inspection fee.
  • Burning will be allowed only if approved and the site has been inspected by an Officer of the Thunder Bay Fire Rescue prior to issue of permit.
  • Approved burning site shall not be altered without approval and inspection by the Fire Service.
  • Permits are issued on an annual basis.
  • No burning in wind greater than 16 km/hr or gusting conditions.
  • Permits are non-transferable.
  • Permits may be cancelled due to changes in ground or atmospheric conditions or non-conformity of the regulations.
  • Permit cancellation may occur as a result of a legitimate smoke nuisance complaint or unsafe conditions.
  • Permit cancellation may occur as a result of the Ministry of Natural Resources direction as to hazardous fire conditions or a fire ban has been issued by the Chief Fire Official.

Burning without a permit or failure to comply with the above may result in a fine of up to $25,000.

Apply online for a Fire Permit

Permit Renewal denotes that the customer has had a Fire Permit in the previous year, it has been inspected and approved by the Fire Service and agrees that there has been no change in property ownership, address, location or construction of the fire appliance or pit since the initial permit was issued.

All new permits require an on-site Inspection to ensure that all guidelines have been adhered to.

The permit is valid for the calendar year in which the permit was purchased.

Burn permit renewals are only issued to the applicant if he/she agrees to abide by the rules and conditions of the permit, a permit was purchased in the previous year, and that there has been no change in the location or construction of the fire appliance or pit since the initial permit was issued.

Rental Dwelling - Any person/tenant living in a rental structure or in an area having multiple occupancies WILL NOT be issued a Recreational Burning Permit unless the Property Owners Permission to Burn Form is completed and signed by the owner and is submitted with the application form.

Apply for a Recreational Fire Permit Online

Apply for an Open Air Fire Permit Online

Any personal information we collect is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001. Personal information is collected in compliance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The personal information collected is for the purpose of issuing Fire Permits. None of your personal information will be shared, rented, sold or otherwise released to any third party without your consent.

Apply in person

For all new permits download the Open Air Fire Permit Application (brush piles) form and bring the completed application to your local Fire Station.

Please also look at the Guidelines for Chimineas, Outdoor Fireplaces & Fire Pits.

Apply in person between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Purchase of a new fire permit on/after December 1st and will expire December 31st of the next year.

Open Burning of brush piles is NOT PERMITTED in the City of Thunder Bay without a permit. Open Burning is only allowed in Zone A with an inspection. View the Fire Permit Zone Map for Fire Permits.

Permit Renewal denotes that the customer has had a burn permit in the previous year, it has been inspected and approved by the Fire Service and agrees that there has been no change in property ownership, address, location or construction of the fire appliance or pit since the initial permit was issued.

All new permits require an on-site Inspection to ensure that all guidelines have been adhered to.

The permit is valid for the calendar year in which the permit was purchased.

Fire permit renewals are only issued to the applicant if he/she agrees to abide by the rules and conditions of the permit, a permit was purchased in the previous year, and that there has been no change in the location or construction of the fire appliance or pit since the initial permit was issued.

Rental Dwelling - Any person/tenant living in a rental structure or in an area having multiple occupancies WILL NOT be issued a Recreational Fire Permit unless the Property Owners Permission to Burn Form is completed and signed by the owner and is submitted with the application form.

Demolition permit

Applications are available at the Building Services Division or online through our Demolition Permit page.

Written authorization may be required from the Thunder Bay Fire Rescue. Please call the Fire Prevention Division at 807-625-2103 before visiting Station 1, 330 Vickers St N to see an Inspector.

 

Fireworks permit

The City of Thunder Bay permits residents to set off low-hazard fireworks, for a private display on their own property without the need for a permit, on the following days:

  • New Years Day
  • Canada Day 
  • Civic Holiday (August Long), and the night immediately preceding any of these days.
  • Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year) you can only discharge on that day.

For all other dates, types/classification of fireworks, locations other than private residential properties, and public displays, a fireworks permit is required. All fireworks are allowed during a fire ban but discouraged. Please use extreme caution.

Application for fireworks display

The following information will be required on all Applications for Fireworks Display.

Failure to complete the form or to supply all required information will result in the permit being denied.

  1. Name of group holding event.
  2. Name, phone number, address and D.O.B. of responsible person from event group.
  3. EXACT location of display - the location is required to assure adequate fallout zones exist.
  4. WRITTEN permission from owner of land where display will take place.
  5. Full name, date of birth, qualifications and a log of the responsible applicant / technician's experience. A legible copy of NRC certificate is required, including expiry date. Company name and address required.
  6. Names and qualifications of assistants are required
  7. Manifest of fireworks to be used in display to be included.
  8. Value of display must be stated - fee will be 10 per cent of show value up to $100. Collection of fee due at time of issue.
  9. Manner and storage place of fireworks prior to display must be disclosed.
  10. Copy of third party Certificate of Insurance - $4 million indemnification required.

** Please Note: Fireworks permits will require a minimum of 21 days to process.

Application for Fireworks Display forms can be picked up at Station 1 (Vickers Street) Fire Station, Fire Prevention Division, 330 Vickers Street North, (807)625-2103.

 

Fireworks Safety

It is important for fireworks users to understand their roles and responsibilities to ensure safe and secure use of fireworks in Canada. To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury Thunder Bay Fire Rescue does not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays. Thunder Bay Fire Rescue recommends attending public firework displays hosted by the municipality and other responsible organizations.

If you choose to set off your own fireworks ensure the person setting them off owns the property they are on or has permission from the property owner to do so.

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue recommends following these safety tips:

  • Appoint a responsible person to be in charge.
  • Carefully read and follow the directions on the fireworks packaging.
  • Keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.
  • Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials such as buildings, trees and dry grass.
  • Keep onlookers a safe distance away.
  • Light one firework at a time and never light a firework in your hand.
  • Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.
  • Keep sparklers away from children as the sparkler wire remains hot for some time after it burns.

Fire Ban

The discharge of fireworks is allowed during a municipal fire ban.

 

Fireworks and the Forest Fires Prevention Act

Pyrotechnic event approval

Pyrotechnic/Fireworks Event Guidelines

In the interest of public safety and regulation of fireworks sales, the following rules will be observed:

1. Any public display of Pyrotechnics will require a written plan to be submitted at least 21 days prior to the event. This plan will include:

  • Full name, date of birth, qualifications and a copy of the log book of the person who will be responsible for discharging the pyrotechnics.
  • Site diagram showing the location of proposed devices in relation to operators, audience, performers (if applicable), support personnel (if applicable) and / or any related structure.
  • A legible copy of NRC Certificate is required, including expiry date, name and address of company.
  • Locations of effects will be clearly shown on maps. Proper clearances between guests and sets / scenery will be maintained.
  • The name of the group or company holding the event or show.

2. A list of responsible persons and information including addresses, phone numbers and D.O.B. to be provided.

3. If show / event is not occurring on land(s) owned by the group conducting the show, EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION to use the respective property will be required.

4. Names and qualifications of assistants required.

5. Manifest of fireworks / pyrotechnics to be used in display required. MSDS sheets to be included.

6. Manner of transport and detailed information concerning manner and location of storage prior to use to be supplied.

7. If required, the Chief Fire Prevention Officer reserves the right to demand a live demonstration prior to approval to evaluate the effect of the display.

8. Value of display must be stated - fee will be 10% of show value up to $100.00. Collection of fee at time of permit issue.

9. Proof of liability / third party insurance will be required with permit application - $4 million indemnification required.

If deemed necessary, Fire Rescue personnel will be in attendance at pyrotechnic / fireworks displays. The Chief Fire Prevention Officer will have the authority to stop the pyrotechnic display or fireworks during a display should he deem it unsafe to person or property.

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