The answer depends on where you live in the municipality, and the time of year you plan to burn.
If your property is serviced with municipal water AND sewer, then you are in what’s described as a Permit Required Zone. Most of the urban/suburban lots in the municipality are located in a Permit Required Zone.
Outdoor wood-burning (brush fires, campfires, bonfires) is banned year-round on many urban/suburban properties due to the close proximity of homes in a neighbourhood. Specifically, open fires cannot take place in a Permit Required Zone if the proposed fire would be within 23 metres (75 feet) of any dwelling or accessory building.
If you have 23 metres’ clearance from any building and you’re in a Permit Required Zone, open-air wood burning (including campfires) would ONLY be permitted from Oct. 16-March 14 (the winter months), from 8 a.m. until midnight.
You also must print and fill out a municipal burn permit municipal burn permit or campfire permit and have it with you while burning.
If your property is not serviced with municipal water or sewer, then you are in what’s described as a No Permit Required Zone. Most of the rural parts of the municipality are located in a No Permit Required Zone.
|The following are some of the communities that do not require a burning permit:|
Head of St.Margaret’s Bay
If you live in a No Burn Permit Required Zone, you are still required to follow the provincial burn map rules during the burn season (March 15 - October 15).
The provincial government’s burning restrictions website is updated daily at 2 p.m. At that time the Department of Natural Resources will confirm by way of a colour on the map the hours in which you are allowed to burn on that day:
• Green = open air wood burning is allowed, beginning at 2 p.m.
• Yellow = open air wood burning is allowed, beginning at 7 p.m.
• Red = open air wood burning is not allowed at any time
Provincial regulations allow burning until 8 a.m. when the map is shaded green or yellow. However, municipal rules stipulate all burning must end at midnight.
In the majority of cases, Halifax Fire & Emergency will mirror the level of restriction on open-air wood burning declared by the province. While the municipality can never assert a level of restriction less stringent than what the province has declared, the fire service has the ability to be more stringent than the province if it is warranted.
If the fire service declares a higher level of restriction than the province, the public will be informed via a public service announcement (which can be found in the Media Room, on the Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency website and through social media updates on the HRFE Twitter feed (@hfxfire).
No permit is ever required for:
• A campfire in a public or private campground
• Burning in an enclosed CSA or ULC approved appliance
• Natural gas or propane heating device
In an effort to limit the amount of smoke and/or smell coming from your wood burning appliance or campfire, the municipal By-Law states you can only burn dry seasoned fire wood. Dry seasoned firewood is defined as not being chemically treated, stained or painted, and has been stored in a manner to deter dampness.
Please refrain from burning leaf or yard waste – including twigs and grass clippings – in campfires or outdoor wood burning appliances.
In a Permit Required Zone (urban/suburban), campfires are only allowed from October 16 - March 14. The campfire would have to be a minimum of 23 metres (75 feet) from any dwelling or accessory building.
In a No Permit Zone (rural), campfires are allowed throughout the year and would need to be a minimum of 4.75 metres (15 feet) from any dwelling or accessory building.
Campfires cannot be larger than .5 metres (1.6 feet) in diameter.
During the burn season (March 15 - October 15) campfires are never allowed anywhere in the municipality between midnight and 2 p.m.
Outdoor wood burning appliances:
Outdoor wood burning appliances, such as chimeneas, can be used anywhere in the municipality throughout the year under the following conditions:
• The outdoor wood burning appliance is a minimum of 4.75 metres (15 feet) from any dwelling or accessory building
• The outdoor wood burning appliance is not placed on a wooden deck or combustible platform
• You use dry seasoned wood only
• The opening to the outdoor wood burning appliance is no larger than 9.65mm (3/8”) and has a shield to prevent sparks from flying
• You follow the manufacturer’s instructions
• You have just one outdoor wood burning appliance on your property at any given time
• Outdoor wood burning appliances must be extinguished at midnight
• Religious or Ceremonial
An industrial burning permit is required for open air burning of brush if the material being burned is wider than 3 metres (10 feet) in diameter or taller than 2 metres (6.5 feet). An industrial permit is also required if the material being burned is in more than one pile of any size.
Brush is defined as trees, wood, shrubs, bushes, or branches.
Brush does not include: rubber tires, oil, plastic, petroleum products, leaf and yard waste, grass, grass clippings, twigs, house and garden plants, box board (including cereal, shoe, tissue and detergent boxes), construction and demolition material (including sawdust, wood shavings, planking, siding, wood beams, plastic and rubber).
If the brush being burned is in a Permit Required Zone, then burning can only take place between October 16 and March 14.
• Burning carried out by a person for remuneration
• Burning carried out for land-clearing or agricultural purposes, including burning for blueberries within an area larger than 2 ha (5 acres)
• The material being burned is in more than one pile of any size
• The material being burned is wider than 3 metres (10 feet) in diameter or taller than 2 metres (6.5 feet)
• Contractors clearing land for development
• Contractors clearing land for insect infestation
• Contractors clearing land for disease control
At all times of the year, contractors conducting open air burning on land being cleared for development or for insect infestation or disease control must obtain an industrial burning permit.
The contractor must also post a bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or certified cheque to the Fire Chief in the amount of $10,000.
An industrial burning permit is required for all industrial burning in both a Permit Required Zone and a No Permit Required Zone.
Religious or Ceremonial:
Fires for religious or ceremonial purposes are allowed in a Permit Required Zone between March 15 and October 15, and shall require a burn permit.
Homemade food smokers and homemade fabricated outdoor wood burning appliances are strictly prohibited under Halifax Regional Municipality's By-Law Number O-109
Call 911 while the burning is occurring and advise the operator of the civic address where the burning is taking place and the reason you think the burning is in violation of Halifax Regional Municipality's By-Law Number O-109 Respecting Open Air Burning.
The responding firefighter has the authority to extinguish or order extinguished any fire that poses a fire hazard. However, if there are no burning bans issued and the person in charge of the fire is following all applicable regulations found in Halifax Regional Municipality's By-Law Number O-109 Respecting Open Air Burning then the firefighter will not have the authority to extinguish the fire.
Any person who fails to comply with any provision of Halifax Regional Municipality's By-Law Number O-109 Respecting Open Air Burning shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $410, and not more than $10,000.
In addition to any fine, a court or judge may order the offender to pay all expenses, costs, and/or damages related to extinguishing the fire.
If such a judgment is issued, Halifax Regional Municipality has the authority to collect that financial penalty by way of a lien against the property owner, which would be applied and enforced in the same manner as it would for taxes under the provincial Assessment Act or the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.