Safe Outdoor Burning

Every year, many people in rural areas burn grasses, leaves, needles and woody debris that has accumulated over the winter. While this is a useful way to dispose of winter debris, it can only takes a minute for a fire to escape. Many people choose to chip branches and compost leaves and grasses because it is an easy and safer disposal method.

However, if burning is the only option you must have a Domestic Burning Permit and can only burn materials such as : 

  • grass
  • round wood
  • brush
  • wood by-products such as bark, branches, needles and leaves

Tips for Safe Burning

The following suggestions can help to make the job safer and more efficient.

Proper Tools and Equipment:

Before you begin ensure that you help to control the burn site and equipment such as:

  • Shovels or spades
  • Rakes
  • Enough water to completely extinguish the fire

Choose the Right Time and Conditions:

Under a Domestic Burning Permit, you can only burn when the Fire Weather Index for your region is Low and wind speeds are less than 10 km/hr. You must also call the number listed at the bottom of your Burning Permit to report every time you use your permit.

Before you begin, try to create firebreaks around the brush piles by raking down to mineral soil, wetting the area, mowing grasses and/or plowing the soil and remember to:

  • if possible, burn these materials in a container such as an old barrel or an approved outdoor fireplace.
  • select a safe place away from buildings and other flammable materials.
  • burn in the early morning or just before sunset when conditions are cooler, humidity is higher and winds are lower.
  • keep the fire small (less than 2 m wide and 2 m tall).
  • gradually add new materials.
  • do not leave the site until the fire is completely out.
  • check any hot embers and be sure to douse them with water or bury them.

Last Tips:

When you start any fire, you are responsible for it and any damages or costs that may arise from that fire.


Published date: 
May 14, 2020
Environment, Energy and Climate Action

General Inquiries

Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division
J. Frank Gaudet Tree Nursery
183 Upton Road
Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6450

Wildlife Emergencies:

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