Open-air fires banned in Ottawa after hot, dry month

A record-setting heat wave this month in Ottawa has prompted Ottawa Fire Services to ban all open-air fires in the city.

Ottawa Fire Services bans all open-air fires due to the late-season heat wave

A heat wave has prompted Ottawa Fire Services to ban all open-air fires in the city. (Roshini Nair/CBC)

A late-season, record-setting heat wave prompted Ottawa Fire Services on Sunday to ban all open air fires in the city, even for permit holders.

The measure is precautionary to avoid possible grass or bush fires due to hot, dry conditions across the region.

It also applies to residents or landowners who have a municipal Open Air Fire Permit intended for campfires, brush pile and agricultural burns.

A permit is required when a fire is lit on private property either in a pit or in a backyard, but it's not necessary for outdoor propane, natural gas or ethanol fireplaces.

The last city fire ban was imposed in April.

Hasn't rained in 16 days

Ottawa hasn't had rain since Sept. 8, a 16-day stretch and the longest period without precipitation this year in the city, according to Environment Canada records. Rain and cooler temperatures are forecast for Wednesday.  

The city advises residents to butt out cigarettes and not to throw one from a moving vehicle, as this could lead to a dry grass fire.

As well, homeowners are reminded to clear tree limbs, leave and other dead debris away from buildings and propane tanks.  Wood piles should be stored a safe distance from both as well.  

The heat warning issued on Friday from Ottawa Public Health remains in effect Monday.