Just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, the province is lifting the Restricted Fire Zone across Ontario’s fire region.  The ban will be over at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 16th.  The province says they will continue to assess forest fire hazard conditions and are prepared to reinstate the Restricted Fire Zone should conditions worsen.

“This is an extraordinary period. As we put measures in place to protect our staff and the public from the pandemic, we have been taking additional steps to prepare for the wildland fire season,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Nothing is more important than protecting the safety of people and communities across the province. Although we want people to enjoy themselves, lifting the Restricted Fire Zone designation does not mean we can let our guard down when it comes to preventing human-caused forest fires.”

For complete information on burning in your municipality please check with your local municipal office. Madawaska Valley Fire Department and Bonnechere Valley Fire Departments have said they will go down to a Level 1 fire ban. In both townships, that means that campfires will now be permitted.

Fire rangers will be following health and safety guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 including physical distancing, hand washing, and daily assessments by staff.

The provincial government has also invested $30.2-million in base funding for emergency forest firefighting.