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Campfires & Open Burns

Most open-air burns require a permit. There are two types of permits available in Chatham-Kent.  All agricultural open-air burns require an Open Air Burn Permit and all non-approved burning devices (campfires/fire pits) require a Recreational Campfire Permit.   

Small fires that are contained inside an approved burning device do NOT require a permit. 


Campfire Permit

Non-approved burning devices such as fire pits, campfires and fire rings require a  Recreational Campfire Permit. Small controlled fires in approved burning devices do not require a permit.  

Applying for a Recreational Campfire Permit

  1. Download the Recreational Campfire Permit or visit any Municipal Service Centre to obtain a copy.  
  2. The appropriate fee must be included with the application in order to be processed (2021 Fee Schedule). 
  3. Submit by mail:
    • Include application and payment
    • Please do not mail cash 
    • Mail to: Customer Service 315 King Street W, PO Box 640, Chatham, ON  N7M 5K8
    • The permit will be mailed to you.
  4. Submit in Person:
    • Bring the application to any Municipal Service Centre
    • Payment can be paid in person via cash, cheque, debit or credit
    • The permit will be mailed to you.
  5. Submit by Email:
    • Scan and email the application to ckinfo@chatham-kent.ca.
    • A customer service representative will call you for phone payment.
    • The permit will be emailed.

Approved Burning Devices

Approved Burning Device must:

  1. Be made from pottery, metal or masonry.
  2. Have a firebox that is no larger than 60 centimetres or 24 inches in diameter, located in an area that will not pose a risk for fire spread.
  3. The device must be equipped with an enclosed hearth with a 6 millimetres or ¼" inch mesh screen completely covering the top, or a hearth that is enclosed on all sides that has a 6 millimetres or ¼" inch mesh screen completely covering the top. 
  4. It also includes an approved outdoor fireplace.

For additional information please refer to the Open Burn By-law.

A fire in an Approved Burning Device on any privately owned lands is permitted provided that: 

  • Only clean and dry wood, charcoal or briquettes shall be burned.
  • The Approved Burning Device is not located on or near any combustible surface.
  • The fire is controlled such that flames and hot embers do not pose an undue risk of fire to nearby combustible materials.
  • The Approved Burning Device must provide an effective barrier to the spread of a fire.

Non-Approved Burning Devices 

Non-approved Burning Devices require a Recreational Campfire Permit.  Non-approved Burning Devices include campfires and open fire pits. 

To submit your Recreational Campfire Permit Application:  

  1. Scan and email the application to ckinfo@chatham-kent.ca. A customer service representative will call for phone payment. The permit will be emailed.
  2. Mail the application and payment to Customer Service, 315 King St. W, PO Box 640 Chatham, ON  N7M 5K8. The permit will be mailed.
  3. Drop off application and payment to a municipal centre dropbox (Blenheim, Civic Centre, Dresden, Ridgetown, Tilbury, Wallaceburg). The permit will be mailed.

Agricultural Open Air Burns

All agricultural open-air burns require an Open Air Burn Permit. Permits are valid for 1 year (12 months).

It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of, and fully comply with the requirements of the Open Burn By-law. 

Chatham-Kent Fire & Rescue will not normally visit your property before granting a permit, however, open burns are regularly called in and an enforcement officer may prohibit any open-burn activity at your property if in his or her judgement they believe it to be unsafe. The municipality may also take further enforcement action if you are not complying with the requirements.

Please contact Chatham-Kent Central Fire Dispatch Centre at 519-352-1100 with the approved permit number prior to commencing burning and after the fire is extinguished.

Applying for an Agricultural Open Air Burn Permit

  1. Download the Open Air Burn Permit or visit any Municipal Service Centre to obtain a copy.
  2. Submit by mail:
    • Include application
    • Mail to: Customer Service, 315 King Street W, PO Box 640, Chatham, ON  N7M 5K8
    • The permit will be mailed to you.
  3. Submit in Person:
    • Bring the application to any Municipal Service Centre
    • The permit will be mailed to you.
  4. Submit by Email:

There is no fee for an Agricultural Open Burn Permit. Please allow 7 business days for processing the application.