Outdoor Fire By-law

The Outdoor Fire By-law was developed in response to more citizens with respiratory issues expressing health concerns. The following is meant to be a summary of the main provisions of the By-law. For more detailed information, clarification and official use, residents and property owners should consult the approved By-law.


  1. People can still barbecue using an appliance designed for outdoor food cooking using propane or charcoal.
  2. People can still have an outdoor bonfire (no permit required); with reasonable guidelines (see more details below).
  3. A responsible adult must be present with some form of fire extinguisher nearby.
  4. The fire shall not cause a nuisance to neighbours.
  5. People should not light fires during inclement or dry weather or windy conditions.
  6. Notify the Fire Department immediately if a fire gets out of control.
  7. The Fire Chief or Designate may enter upon any public or private land to observe, extinguish or have extinguished any outdoor fire that he/she reasonably believes fails to comply with the By-law or is a hazard.

Outdoor Bonfire and Outdoor Furnace Guidelines

  1. Outdoor bonfires are to occur in an “acceptable fire pitmeaning one that meets National Standards. It can be made from bricks, concrete blocks, heavy gauge metal, stone or other non-combustible components, that has a spark arrestor or metal mesh screen.
  2. The fire pit must be on a fire-proof surface.
  3. The pit must be more than 25 feet from any building, flammable structure, combustible material or property line.
  4. A Chimenea can also be used. If placed on a wooden deck, it must:
    • be on a CSA approved fire-proof pad that extends at least 18 inches from where the door is located and eight inches on all other sides;
    • be seven feet from the house and three feet from any wooden surface that is not screened with a CSA approved fire-proof material; and
    • follow accompanying operating instructions.
  5. An Outdoor furnace means an outdoor wood-burning appliance, a solid fuel-burning appliance or a biofuel-burning appliance that meets National standards and is used for the space heating of any building, the heating of water or other similar purposes.
  6. Only seasoned firewood, solid fuel or biofuel are to be used.

All Other Fires

  1. The property owner must obtain a burn permit for $5.00 from the Fire Chief.
  2. Must occur between 8 am and 8 pm.
  3. Types of material that may be burned as per permit: sticks or twigs; brush or stumps; slash; and insect-infested wood.

For more information contact the Fire Chief at 902-396-8731 or paul.janes@townofpictou.ca.