Kitchener-Waterloo

Don't burn without a permit, says fire chief after Baden brush fire

Wilmot Fire Department is reminding residents that they need permission before burning farm and yard waste after a brush fire got out of hand Monday afternoon.

Burning without a permit could result in a $5,000 fine, according to the township's bylaw

Monday's fire on Bleams Road started as a brush fire, but spread to a nearby grassy place due to high winds. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

Wilmot Fire Department is reminding residents that they need permission before burning farm and yard waste after a brush fire got out of hand Monday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to a grass fire on Bleams Road, between the towns of Baden and New Dundee, arriving at the scene at around 1:00 p.m.

"They could see a lot of smoke," said Acting Fire Chief Brad Otterbein.

"They didn't see a lot of flames initially when they got there, because – from the road – it was hidden in behind the barn. So, it wasn't a large fire ... but could have gotten out of hand because of the wind."

Otterbein said fire crews from two stations were able to put out the flames in less than 10 minutes, but the result could have been different had the ground been dryer.

He would like to prevent similar brush fires from getting out of control, so he's reminding residents they need to get their open air permits before they light the first match.

Before obtaining a permit, Otterbein said someone from the department will visit the burn site to make sure:

  • Buildings are at a safe distance from the proposed site of the fire.
  • Grasses and other flamable items are at a safe distance from the proposed site of the fire.
  • The items to be burned are not toxic.
  • The pile of waste to be burned is not excessive.

Permits cost $45, are valid for 30 days, and can be purchased by filling out an online form or by calling the fire department. 

Anyone caught burning waste outside without a permit in Wilmot township could face a fine of up to $5,000.

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