On April 1, 2020 the ban was implemented under section 7.1 of the Bylaw. ‘The Fire Chief Official or designate may issue a burn ban on any or all Open-Air Fires or may suspend without recourse any or all Burn Permits’ and was in place for 28 days.

The ban has been extended and remains in place as at this time, as none of the community safety controls put in place locally, provincially or federally have been lifted yet.

“There will continue to be members of the community who are frustrated by the implementation of this suspension. We completely understand those frustrations and I don’t know anyone who is not yearning for the world to return to some semblance of normality,” explains Chris Case. “It is important to remember that when a member of the community reports a fire we have to attend and investigate the circumstances. At a time when social distancing and maintaining the safety of your family at home is so important, we only want to have our firefighters interact with the community when it is essential.”

CKFES has been monitoring the situation and will continue await notification from provincial and federal levels of government for when community safety controls are to be amended. When this happens, the suspension will be reviewed.

Our inspectors continue to work with police and the bylaw enforcement team to ensure that these vital measures are enforced.

During the past twenty eight days, CKFES has attended a number of campfires which have been set in contradiction to the suspension. On every occasion fire officials have spoken with the homeowner and advised them about the ban. Most people have been receptive and have extinguished the burn.

“On one occasion, a burn was spread by the wind and resulted in a small structure fire requiring a full station response,” states Case. “This illustrates the reasons why we have taken this action. It is about saving lives and protecting the vulnerable. Fires, rescues and other emergencies have not stopped for the pandemic, we need to safeguard all our first responders to ensure we remain available to respond to calls for help”

Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services would like thank the community for their cooperation during the suspension of recreational (campfires) that continues to be in effect for the entire municipality.