Shuniah (April 2, 2020) – In order to ensure public safety and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce strain on emergency services, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone for the entire MNR fire region, including the Municipality of Shuniah, in effect at 12:01am April 3, 2020 until such time as the order is revoked by the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
What is a Restricted Fire Zone?
A Restricted Fire Zone is a specific geographic area where the use of open fires, like campfires or debris burning, is restricted.
It is a temporary measure put in place by the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry when the fire danger is extreme to prevent human caused fires. A Restricted Fire Zone order may last from a few days to weeks depending on conditions. The restrictions are lifted as soon as conditions allow.
When a Restricted Fire Zone is declared, it is illegal to set a fire within the affected area. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and three months in jail, as well as the financial responsibility for any costs incurred in fighting a forest fire caused by the illegal act.
You can still go camping, hiking, fishing, and have fun outdoors, but if you need heat for cooking and warmth, you’ll have to use a portable gas or propane stove. Portable charcoal equipment (e.g., BBQs, Hibachis, etc.) are illegal for use during a Restricted Fire Zone except close to a dwelling that you legally own or occupy or in an organized campground.
Commercial campground operators may allow their guests to continue enjoying campfires during a Restricted Fire Zone period provided certain conditions are met.
If you see a forest fire or an open fire during a restricted fire zone, report it.
Follow us on social media or check shuniahfire.com/emergency for updates specific to the Municipality of Shuniah.