New rules for outdoor fires in the RMWB

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) is revising its Outdoor Fire Bylaw.

The Municipal Council approved revisions to the rules governing outdoor fires at their meeting on April 22nd. The new bylaw contains major revisions regulating all outdoor fires and burning in the urban service area of Fort McMurray.

“More than 60 per cent of wildfires in Alberta are caused by people and are often the result of carelessness,” said Regional Fire Chief Jody Butz.

“Municipal fire prevention and bylaw enforcement officers need tools to help prevent wildfires in the urban service area. This updated bylaw gives them that.”

Among the many changes, permits are no longer required for fire pits on private property. Both permanent and portable fire pits are now subject to strict requirements including being at least 3 meters from all buildings, structures, decks, fences, property lines, and combustible materials.

There are also specific regulations pertaining to the size, material, and construction of fire pits.

Under the bylaw, fire permits are required for bonfires and when burning large amounts of brush.

The RMWB has a list of rules and requirements for fire permits and the application process, at

There are also increased fines for violators of the bylaw.

“Unpermitted or illegal fires are a concern for everyone; we’ve seen the damage and the havoc they can cause,” said Chief Butz. “This spring, there’s an increased wildfire risk across the province. We need everyone across the Region to be careful, be alert, and follow the rules when it comes to fire.”

The RMWB is encouraging residents to review the outdoor fire penalties and read the Outdoor Fire Bylaw to understand the rules for outdoor burning.

Further information is available on the Municipality’s outdoor fire rules webpage.

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