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Town of Grand Valley Revises Burn Bylaw

Grand Valley Revises Burn Bylaw

On July 13, 2021, Grand Valley Council received a report from Chief Administrative Officer Meghan Townsend on amendments to the municipality’s burn bylaw. Back in May, the town commenced a one-year pilot project allowing residents to obtain a permit to have recreational fires within the town limits, with fines instituted for those found circumventing the set rules. Staff had submitted the bylaw to the Ministry of the Attorney General, who had requested some revisions. Contrary to reports from the Orangeville Banner, and as shown in the bylaw established on May 25, 2021, penalties were always associated with the rules and not introduced due to the amendments.

Many of the revisions to the bylaw are minor, mainly around phrasing. Moreover, the town’s original schedule of set fines was replaced, slimming it down from ten points to eight. 

“We’re trying to make it clear, that’s for sure,” said Townsend at the July 13 meeting. “The trick is making sure that people understand and balancing that against what the province requires as far as very technical legalese within the bylaws.”

Recreational fires are allowed, with a permit, to occur between the hours of 12 pm and 1 am. The bylaw states that in-town campfires must be less than 1 metre in diameter and contained to a pit in the ground, a designated fire pit area surrounded by rocks, or a recreational burning device. Metal screens or a grill must be placed over the fire to prevent the escape of combustible materials such as ash. Additionally, fires must be a minimum of 3 metres away from structures, trees, fences, overhead wires, or obstructions of any kind. One can find more conditions on recreational fires in the burn bylaw on the town’s website.

Some of the penalties associated with Grand Valley’s burn bylaw are below

  • Unlawfully start a fire without a permit – $200.00
  • Allow a person under 18 to light or tend a fire – $200.00
  • Fail to have appropriate extinguishing agent present – $200.00
  • Burn prohibited materials without a special permit – $200.00
  • Start or tend fire during a ban – $500.00

Furthermore, if an emergency service callout is required because of violating the burn bylaw, the perpetrator will be expected to pay all applicable costs. The Town of Grand Valley may also withdraw the associated permit.

Burn permits can be obtained from the Town of Grand Valley by contacting the municipal office at 519-928-5652, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. A copy of the associated form is included with the burn bylaw. In the future, it is expected that residents will be able to apply for burn permits online as part of a town modernization project. According to the burn bylaw, permits are valid for the calendar year they are issued unless revoked. 

References – Town of Grand Valley Revises Burn Bylaw

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