Skip to main content

Open air burn by-law

If you would like to have outdoor fires in the Town of Amherstburg, you are required to get an annual fire permit. Fire permits are divided into three types of permits:

  1. Recreational (campfires)
  2. A Special Event Permit
  3. Farm Operation

Those looking to obtain a farm operation permit must be a registered farm and be the farmer that either owns or rents the property to work it. For more information call (519) 736-5733.

For those looking to obtain a special event permit it is recommended that you first speak to our fire prevention division to discuss your event and plan. Our Fire Prevention Officer can be reached at (519) 736-6500, Monday through Friday 8:30-4:30.

The bylaw will continue to allow cooking fires without permit but will now also authorize campfires, recreational fires and the use of fire pits and approved burning devices such as chimineas under specific conditions as set out in the bylaw.

How to obtain a recreational burn permit for an open air fire:

If you are planning an open air fire, a permit is required to be completed and submitted either online, link below, or to the Finance Department at Town Hall along with the non-refundable inspection fee. A site inspection will be scheduled by Amherstburg Fire Department to determine if the location of the burn meets the requirements of the bylaw. Once your inspection is completed, you will be approved to burn all year long outside of burn bans. You must renew your permit annually but you do not require a second inspection as long as nothing has changed at your burn site. With no inspection your renewal is free.

Before the inspection takes place, please ensure the following steps have been taken:

  1. Ensure all requirements of the bylaw regarding distances from structures, fences, etc. have been met
  2. The fire pit or device is set up in the desired location.
  3. If you are renting the property, written permission from the owner of the property is required to be submitted with the application.

Campfires must be 15 metres (49 feet) away from all lot lines, buildings, fences, and other combustibles. You can reduce the 15 metre requirement down to 10 metres (33 feet) by having the fire surrounded in a 40 cm (15.75 Inch) high non-combustible surround.


<- 15 Metres of clearance required (Max size of fire 1 Metre)















<- 10 metres of clearance required with a surround 40 cm high










For properties with clearances of less than 20 metres an enclosed unit is required. With an outdoor enclosed unit you only require 5 metres (16.5 feet) of clearance  from lot lines, buildings, fences and other combustibles unless otherwise provided by the manufactures specification. If the manufacturer approves of the unit being used at a smaller  distance away from combustibles than this bylaw than you may be approved, at the time of inspection, to utilize that distance. Most reduced clearance pits that we have come across come with a minimum clearance of 2.4 M (8 feet).






For all recreational fires you will want to have your site prepared prior to the fire department arrival. If your site and/or unit is not prepared upon arrival, you will not be approved at that time and a second inspection along with another inspection fee will be required. If you are unsure of what you require call us at (519) 736-6500 and we would be glad to help.




Things to Consider

As you sit around your open air fire enjoying your evening, the smoke from your fire should not be a nuisance to your neighbours. If there are complaints from neighbours in regard to smoke crossing over into their property, your fire may be required to be extinguished by the Amherstburg Fire Department.


The Permit Holder shall comply at all times with the Fire Protection and Prevention Act and all other applicable municipal by-laws, provincial and federal laws.

A Permit for an Open Air Fire is not transferable to another person or to a new location.

No Permit Holder shall set or maintain an Open Air Fire unless the Permit Holder:

  • Receives permission on the day of the proposed fire; To ensure you are allowed to burn call our burn hot line at (519) 730-2114
  • Open-Air burning shall be constantly attended and supervised by a competent person of at least eighteen (18) years of age to ensure that the fire is kept under control The person shall have readily available for use such fire extinguishing equipment as may be necessary for the total control of the fire.
  • Prior to leaving the site, the Open-Air Fire shall be completely extinguished, except for: Farm Operations Fires (e.g. Land Clearing operations).
  • Produces his or her Permit upon being so directed by the Fire Chief or designate;
  • Has equipment capable of extinguishing the fire such as rakes, shovels, or water immediately available for use at the site of the Open Air Fire;
  • Immediately extinguishes the Open Air Fire upon so ordered by the Fire Chief or designate;
  • Burns from sunrise to sunset on any day with the exceptions of Campfires and Outdoor Fireplaces;
  • Burns only combustible materials or fuel permitted by the Bylaw
  • Complies to any additional conditions to a Permit imposed by the Fire Chief;


No Permit Holder shall set or maintain a Campfire unless the Permit Holder:

  • Burns only dry firewood;
  • Ensures the campfire does not exceed 1 metre in width at the largest point or is piled higher than 1 metre in height;
  • Ensures the campfire is located at a distance of not less than 15 m from any building, hedge, fence, lot line, highway, overhead wiring or other combustible material;
  • Ensure the campfire is located a distance of not less than 10 m from any building, hedge, fence, lot line, overhead wiring or other combustible material or a highway where the campfire is surrounded by non-combustible material to a minimum height of 40 cm.


No Permit Holder shall set or maintain an Outdoor Fireplace unless the Permit Holder:

  • Ensures the Outdoor Fireplace fire is located at a distance of not less than 5 m from any building, hedge, fence, lot line, highway, overhead wiring or other combustible material or in accordance with manufacturer or listing agency (i.e ULC, Warnock Hersey) recommendations