Outdoor Fires and Barbeques

Recreational burning requirements

  • The smoke and odour from the outdoor burning device, outdoor fireplace or fire pit is to be contained to the property of origin and cannot impact neighbours ability to enjoy their property.
  • Burning to be between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Maximum fire pit size to be two feet by two feet by 16 inches high and no more than eight inches above grade).
  • Only charcoal or clean, dry, seasoned wood without preservatives can be burned.
  • All wood being burned to be within the pit.
  • Burning to be at least three metres from adjacent property and also three metres from combustibles.
  • A charged water hose and/or 2A fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Burning to be supervised by an adult, 18 years or older at all times.
  • Favourable weather conditions: no fog, no smog alert, winds to less than 30 km/hr.
  • Smoke may not obscure roads and homes. Sparks may not travel to nearby homes.
  • Open air burning is permitted at ground level only.

Under the by-law, smoke and odour from an outdoor fireplace or fire pit cannot interfere with neighbours' ability to enjoy their property.

  • Fire crews will respond to complaints and fire safety violations; extinguish the offending fire and educate the resident about the by-law requirements for open air burning
  • Recreational burning is a privilege, any 'no' answer on the checklist requires the extinguishing of the fire. Open the recreational burning checklist (pdf 98.9 kB).
  • After two violations of the by-law, the property owner will be charged a fee of $410 for each Fire department response.
  • Residents thinking about installing an outdoor fire pit may want to consider installing a propane or natural gas-burning device that will significantly reduce the negative impact on their neighbourhood.

Open air burning on farms — rural burning

  • The Fire department is to be notified prior to burning and also at the conclusion of the burn. Please call 905-637-8253. Burning is to be between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Dry brush is the only material that can be burned.
  • Burning to be at least 45 metres from adjacent property, structures, roads, highway or wooded areas.
  • Burning to be supervised by an adult at all times.
  • Fire must be completely extinguished prior to burn site being vacated.
  • Favourable weather conditions: no fog, no smog alert, winds to less than 30 km/hr.
  • Smoke may not obscure roads, motorists and homes.


Open air burning fire permits are required for the following types of fires:

  • Special event reoccurring over an extended period of time (Call Fire Prevention 905-338-4404)
  • Strike/picketers
  • Any type of fire that is not exempt as per section 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and Part 3 of the by-law
  • Application for permits must be made at least one week prior to the event by contacting the Oakville Fire department's Prevention Division at 905-338-4404.


All persons shall immediately extinguish open air fires upon notification that in the Fire Chief's opinion:

  • the fire presents a hazard
  • the fire has a negative impact on persons
  • there is a contravention of the by-law

The person who owns or occupies the land will be responsible for costs incurred to extinguish the fire if they fail to comply with the fire official’s requests and also on the third attendance in a calendar year to the same municipal address.


  • Check propane tanks for leaks at the beginning of each season and after every tank-change
  • Supervise barbeques at all times
  • Place barbeques on non-flammable material
  • Propane tanks should be stored and transported in the upright position
  • Never transport propane cylinders in a closed vehicle
  • Propane tanks and barbeques should be stored outside of your home.
  • Propane tanks must be stored in ventilated, detached buildings, such as sheds or garages
  • If buildings are not available, the cylinders should remain outside and be kept a minimum of one metre away from any building

Return to the Fire Safety and Guidelines page.