Updated Backyard Fire Rules in Waterloo Region

Aug 22, 2023
Categories: Home Insurance · News · Safety
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Residents in Waterloo Region have different rules for backyard fires depending on the city or township they live in. The regulations range from no permit needed to requiring a permit to not allowing allowing fires at all. See below for a roundup of Waterloo Region’s three cities and four townships, and their respective backyard fire rules and regulations.

Please Note: These bylaws were current as of Summer 2023 and can change without notice. It is advised to contact your local municipality for the most up-to-date regulations and if there are any fire bans in place.

City of Kitchener Backyard Fire Rules

In the City of Kitchener, residents don’t require a permit and may have a backyard fire in a designated fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or backyard chiminea. A backyard fire can burn between 6-11 pm, seven days a week, and it is strongly advised to keep a safe distance (5 or more metres) from property lines, buildings, trees, and other flammable items.

City of Waterloo Backyard Fire Rules

The City of Waterloo’s Open Air Fire Bylaw does not allow the lighting of backyard fires.

City of Cambridge Backyard Fire Rules

Cambridge residents are required to obtain a burn permit from the Fire Prevention division, if they are setting a fire not used for cooking purposes. The cost begins at $92.52 for 30 days and will require an inspection to look ensure it is at least 150 metres from a building, among other safety requirements. Learn more here: Fire Prevention and Burn Permits – City of Cambridge

Township of North Dumfries Backyard Fire Rules

The Township of North Dumfries allows recreational open-air burnings and do not require a permit. Fire pits may not be larger than one metre in size and cannot exceed one metre in height, and must be extinguished by 11:59 pm. For more information, view the complete Open-Air Burning Bylaw (opens PDF).

Township of Wellesley Backyard Fire Rules

The Township of Wellesley requires residents to purchase a burn permit and may only burn clean, dry wood. The cost of a monthly burn permit is $45 and a full year costs $155. Learn more and apply here: Burn Permits and Open Air Burning – Township of Wellesley

Township of Wilmot Backyard Fire Rules

Wilmot Township requires a burn permit to have a backyard fire. There are three types of permits and are based on the size of the property and if the area is zoned as agriculture. Recreational fire permits cost $20 per year and can applied for online: Burn Permits – Wilmot Township

Township of Woolwich Backyard Fire Rules

Woolwich Township also requires a permit to have a backyard fire. There is no cost for a “campfire permit” but residents must agree to safety regulations such as the campfire size is no larger than 2 feet by 2 feet and must be at least 15 feet from property lines, structures, fences, etc. More information available here: Burn Permits and Burning – Woolwich Township

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