At their December 19, 2023 meeting, Municipality of Port Hope Council approved a new Open Air Burning By-law resulting in some notable changes, including allowance for recreational campfires in the Urban area, under certain circumstances and conditions. In combination with this new By-law, Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services (PHFES) has transitioned to a new online system for burn permits that makes it free and easy for property owners to acquire and activate a burn permit.
“We are excited to launch this new system and enhance the efficiency of service we provide to the community,” notes Jason Williams, Director of Protective Services for the Municipality of Port Hope. “With recommendations from our Fire Master Plan and feedback from the community, it was clear these were sought after changes. We believe these updates allow all residents to conduct their open air burning in a safe, responsible, and efficient manner, as well as benefit PHFES through a reduction of burn permit administration and emergency response to burn complaints.”
Property Owners can now go to porthope.burnpermits.com to sign up for an account and apply for a free burn permit. Once the application is approved, it can be download immediately at home. Permit holders must call 1-844-392-8887 to activate their permit before every burn event, it will remain active for 24 hours.
Important burn reminders
- To have a fire in Port Hope, you must hold a current permit and activate it every day that you are burning. You do not require a burn permit for an outdoor furnace (to heat a building) or a propane-fueled fire pit.
- All permits have specific terms and conditions that must be met before being approved. See the Burn By-Law for specifics such as minimum distances from structures, property lines, base size, and more. Save yourself time and disappointment by ensuring your request for a permit meets these requirements before getting started.
- When Fire and Emergency Services responds to complaints about burning and they find you are not following these rules, you will be charged for the services used to respond to the complaint. Fire Services can revoke your burn permit, if necessary. First attendance at a non-compliant fire will result in a fee of $100, second attendance $500, each subsequent attendance in a 6-month period the fee will increase $500.
- Be a good neighbour and make sure that smoke from your burn is not drifting on to others’ property. Your neighbours have a right to complain about your burn if the smoke is causing an issue on their property, even if you have a permit.
- Check for burn ban notices before starting your fire. Burn ban notices will appear on our website, our burn permit portal and in the local media.