All of nothern Ontario will be under a total fire ban thanks to a ruling from the Province.

This decision by the provincial government overrides any municipal bans in place.

“The Ontario government is taking action to protect people and communities from the risk of preventable human-caused fires and to ensure that the province’s emergency response system remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak,” the province says in a statement.

Starting Friday, Ontario’s entire legislated fire region will be designated a restricted fire zone. “Residents who live in an area with a restricted fire zone cannot have an outdoor fire – this includes burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fireplace or fire pit,” the province says.

If you need heat for cooking or warmth, you are able to use a gas or propane stove and portable liquid fuel or a gas stove that can be turned off easily using a valve or lid. Charcoal installation can be used, but must be within 100 metres of the building, at least one meter from any flammable material and completely extinguished. You can also use an outdoor wood burning stove or furnace if you live in a building a restricted zone, but it must be within 100 metres of the building, five metres from any forest area, and at least two metres from any flammable material.

The restriction will continue until Ontario’s ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.