Fire Hazards in Edmonton
Dry weather can lead to fire hazards in City parks, fields and other green spaces. When the fire hazard is extreme, the City of Edmonton may issue a fire ban to protect life and property.
You can help keep Edmonton safe by checking www.albertafirebans.ca or calling 311 before you burn to find out if there is a fire ban in Edmonton.
How does the City measure fire hazards?
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services uses a tool called the Fire Weather Index System to measure and forecast fire hazard conditions in Edmonton. It is based on weather data and takes into account everything from temperature and wind conditions to relative humidity and moisture levels in the ground.
What is the difference between a “ban” and a “restriction”?
A fire restriction prohibits the use of fireworks and open burning. During a restriction you can still use your backyard fire pits provided they meet the Community Standards Bylaws. You may also use your BBQs and cooking stoves. However, a complete fire ban prohibits the use of fireworks and any open burning. A fire ban also prohibits the use of backyard fire pits, cooking stoves in parks, and BBQs using solid fuels (ex. wood and briquettes). Gas/propane fueled BBQs are still permitted but must be located and supervised properly.
What is open burning?
Open burning includes any controlled burns that are subject to conditions set in an open burning fire permit.
For more information, see Part IV of the the Community Standards Bylaw
What are the fines for failing to obey a fire ban/restriction?
Edmonton Fire and Rescue Services wants to work with Edmontonians to keep everyone safe. Therefore, during a fire ban/restriction EFRS will emphasis compliance over enforcement. However, failure to comply could result in a fine and/or fighting fees if the actions result in a fire or are deemed dangerous to the life, property and/or environment of Edmonton.
What should I do if I see someone not complying with a fire ban/restriction?
We would encourage the public to politely communicate the noncompliance to the individual, as most of these instances occur because of a lack of awareness. However, if the individual continues his/her behavior then we recommend calling 9-1-1.
What is banned During a fire ban?
A fire ban can restrict any of these regulated activities:
- Open burning ("open burning" refers to controlled burns subject to conditions set in a Fire Rescue permit) in non-residential areas.
- firepits and cooking stoves in parks
- backyard firepits
In most cases, a fire ban will only restrict open burning and fireworks. If conditions require, a ban may also restrict the use of firepits and cooking stoves in parks. Backyard firepits will only be banned when the fire hazard is extreme throughout Edmonton.
What about my BBQ?
You can use a propane BBQ or stove during a fire ban. Propane BBQs or stoves are permitted because they are metal, contained and don't generate smoke or embers. Propane BBQs are also permitted in City parks during fire bans.
Is it illegal to disregard a fire ban?
The City of Edmonton wants to work with residents and visitors to keep Edmonton safe. During a fire ban, officials will emphasize compliance over enforcement, but anyone who breaks a fire ban may be subject to fines or charges if their fire causes a safety issue. This may also include covering costs for emergency services.
What activities require permits?
You need a permit to purchase, possess, store and use fireworks within the City of Edmonton and to do any kind of open burning. Call 780-496-3628 or 311 to find out how to obtain a permit. Remember, no permits are required for backyard firepits that meet the Community Standards Bylaw, cooking stoves, fire places or BBQs.
Can I use my charcoal BBQ during a fire ban?
No, solid fuel BBQs are not permitted because they produce embers. These embers, combined with the dry and windy conditions can be exceptionally dangerous.
What do I do if I see a wildfire?
If you see a fire call 9-1-1.