Skip to main content Skip to footer

Burn Permits

Open Air Fire Permit Application

The Town prohibits open-air burning unless you obtain a burn permit, as per the Town's Open-Air Fire By-law. An "open air fire or open-air burning" means that any fire that is conducted outside a building and includes bonfires and fires that are contained in a Fire Pit, Outdoor Fireplace or burn barrel.

Please keep in mind that approved permits are only valid for the current calendar year in which you purchase them. 


Before applying for an Open Air Fire Permit please review the following information:

  • Review the full content of this Open Air Fire Permit Application page.
  • Is your property eligible to apply for an Open Air Fire Permit?
  • A diagram of your property is required for application submission.
    • You can provide a hand drawn diagram or leverage the validate property tool to generate a diagram of your property.
    • You must identify the following items that apply to your property. See the example below to ensure you have a successful application.
      • (1) Location of Proposed Open Air Fire
      • (2) Fire Dept. Access Route to Fire
      • (3) Ponds, Cisterns, On-site Water Sources
      • (4) Property Lines, Boundaries
      • (5) Roads, Driveways, Paths
      • (6) Buildings, Structures, Obstructions
      • (7) Trees, Crops, Vegetation
      • (8) Nearest Fire Hydrant
    • The following image is an example of a completed property diagram. You can click on the image for a larger view.

 Example of a Completed Property Diagram




  • Not the Property Owner of the location?
    • Please be advised if you are not the property owner of the application. Please be prepared to provide a Schedule H. This will need to be completed by the property owner and submitted with application.



  • $25 plus HST
  • The application and payment can be completed online through our website.  A service fee of 2.50% of the amount paid is levied by Paymentus for each transaction. 



  •  Open air fire permits may be renewed if the following conditions are met: 
    • An open air fire permit was approved for the property in the previous calendar year
    • No changes have been made to the property since the initial application was submitted 
  • If the conditions are not met, a new open air fire permit application is required
  • The fee for renewal is $25 plus HST
  • The application and payment can be completed online through our website.  A service fee of 2.50% of the amount paid is levied by Paymentus for each transaction.



  • $35.40 plus HST
  • Print a copy of the Open Air Fire Permit Application
  • If you need a printed copy or further assistance, please call us at 905-945-2113 or email us at
  • Submit the completed application form along with a cheque made payable to the Town of Grimsby either by:
    • In person, at the Grimsby Fire Department, 261 Ontario Street, Grimsby
    • Mail, Town of Grimsby 160 Livingston Ave, Grimsby, ON, L3M 0J5


Once we receive your application we will review the submission and respond to you within 5 business days.


  • Open air fires set and maintained on property zoned for agricultural use under the Zoning By-Law require an annual farm fire permit.
  • There is no fee for this permit.
  • Farm fire permits shall be subject to provisions, conditions and prohibitions as set out in the Open Air Fires By-Law 21-17, as well as Schedule "A" of the Open Air Fires By-Law.
  • These permits are also only valid for the calendar year and expire on December 31st of each year.

  • Many residential properties are not large enough to meet the clearance requirements for a lawful open air fire.
  • Urban area fires require a minimum clearance of 4 metres. (approximately 13 feet) in all directions between the fire and an building, structure, fence, overhead wire, or combustible material.
  • Urban area fires require a minimum clearance of 6 metres (approximately 20 feet) to an adjacent property or highway.
  • Any person who sets or maintains an open air fire is responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient clearances around the fire.
  • Despite having a valid permit, it is unlawful to set or maintain an open air fire that causes smoke, odour, ashes, or embers to invade a neighbouring property thereby causing a nuisance.
  • Residents that fail to comply with the regulations will result in fines and/or fees of $775 per hour for each fire truck that responds to extinguish an unsafe or unlawful fire.

  • Open air burning complaints should be reported while the offence is occurring.
  • Serious threat and/or property damage - Call 9-1-1. Remember, this should only be used if it is an emergency situation as the fire department will be dispatched to respond to an emergency.
  • Less serious situations (e.g. smoke is creating a nuisance) - call 905-684-4311, the Fire Dispatch Non-Emergency number. A member of the fire department will be dispatched to investigate the complaint.

Effective 2021, a number of changes have occurred and a new Open Air Fire By-law 21-17 has been approved.  This is following significant community consultation. Therefore, the following items are new or updated to ensure the by-law supports a safe and healthy community.

  • The permit classifications are revised to:
    • Farm Fire Permit
    • Rural Fire Permit (New)
    • Urban Fire Permit (New)
    • Campground Fire Permit (New)
    • Specific Event Fire Permit (New)
  • The former "Urbanized Areas" was replaced with "Urban area".
  • A new "Specific Event Fire Permit" was introduced to facilitate campfires by various community groups for a specific occasion or series of occasions.

  • Sensitive Receptor Registry is an approach whereby the fire department maintains a confidential database of locations where exposure to smoke may pose a particular risk to the health of an individual or group.
  • Residents wishing to be placed on the registry would submit a letter from their physician or a notarized statement attesting to the medical need to have their address placed on the Sensitive Receptor Registry.
  • Burn Permits would not be issued, nor open air fires allowed, within 75 metres of a location listed on the registry.
  • The registry process is in development. If you have questions about the registry, contact the Fire Department.

  • A new section was added to the By-law to allow the outdoor use of small flaming devices, such as tiki torches and candles.
  • The outdoor use of these devices was technically unlawful under the previous By-law, but should be include as an allowable device.

  • The By-law prohibits the use of these balloon-like "flying lanterns" devices.
  • The devices are a fire safety concern because these open flame devices have an uncontrollable and unpredictable flight path when released.
  • They can land on trees, building rooftops, and other combustible properties while still ignited thereby creating a public hazard.

  • The By-law now authorizes the Town's By-law enforcement officers, in addition to Fire prevention staff, to enforce the open air fire by-law, and issue an order to extinguish a fire.

  • The By-law is in place to ensure that open air fires are safe.
  • At times, neighbours are using this matter to solve neighbour disputes rather than a safety concern or true violation of the By-law.
  • A monetary penalty and a cost recovery mechanism for repeated responses is now in place for false or frivolous open air burning complaints.

  •  An appeal mechanism if charged under the Administrative Penalties is now in place to allow individuals who have been assessed fees or charges under the open air fire by-law, to appeal those fees or charges.

Contact Us

Town of Grimsby
160 Livingston Avenue
Grimsby ON, L3M 0J5
Phone: 905-945-9634
Fax: 905-945-5010

Sign up to stay up to date with news from the Town of Grimsby

Stay up to date on the Town's activities, events, programs and operations by subscribing to our News Alerts.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.