Waterloo region townships reinstate fire bans due to dry conditions

Wilmot, Wellesley, Woolwich and North Dumfries have all reinstated burn bans due to the hot and dry conditions.

Fire Monday in North Dumfries showed ‘how rapidly a fire can spread’

Waterloo region townships have reinstated burn bans due to the hot and dry conditions. Small, supervised campfires are still permitted, but burning brush or cardboard is not. The Grand River Conservation Authority also has fire restrictions at a few parks. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Just days after the townships lifted a burn ban, hot and dry conditions have seen the municipalities put restrictions on fire once again this summer.

Wilmot, Woolwich, Wellesley, and North Dumfries have all reinstated burn bans and they remain in effect until further notice. A fire ban is also in effect for Wellington County.

Open burning includes fires where the flames are not wholly contained, including burning brush, cardboard, wood, or garden waste.

Small and supervised campfires and barbecues are still permitted.

North Dumfries officials said there is the "potential for the ban to be extended if the dry conditions prevail."

People who don't adhere to the burn bans could face fines.

The field fire on Monday on New Dundee Road could be seen from downtown Kitchener. (Contributed by: Chris Kieswetter)

A release from Wellesley Township said a fire on Monday, which consumed approximately 40 acres of wheat on New Dundee Road in North Dumfries, "emphasized the dry conditions and how rapidly a fire can spread and the need for extreme caution under these conditions."

This is the second time burn bans have been put into place in the region's townships this summer.

Hillside fire ban

A total fire ban has also been put in place at Guelph Lake Conservation Area for the Hillside Festival this weekend. The fire ban started Thursday at 8 a.m. and goes until midnight Monday.

Fire pits, fire bowls and chimineas are all prohibited during the festival. Once the festival is over, cooking fires will be allowed.

"Some of the campsites are in extremely dry areas where we found the grass was very dry. We want everyone to enjoy the weekend and we don't want fires to get out of hand," Brad Dixon, the superintendent of the park, said in a release.

A sacred fire at the Aboriginal Circle, which burns at the festival from 7 a.m. Friday until 7 p.m. Sunday, is exempt from the burn ban.

Fire restrictions are also in place at some Grand River Conservation Areas. Cooking fires only are permitted in Brant Park, Guelph Lake (except during Hillside), and Rockwood. All fires have been banned at Conestogo Lake, Elora Gorge, and Pinehurst.

Heat to continue next week

Officials said while much-needed rain last weekend did provide some relief, it wasn't enough and dry conditions have persisted.

There is also no relief in sight.

Environment Canada's forecast says there is the chance for a thunderstorm Thursday night and Friday morning, as well as shower Sunday, but temperatures are expected to remain in the high 20s and low 30s, with humidex values in the high 30s. A heat warning is in effect for Guelph, Wellington county, Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and the region.