Prevention At home

Keeping your home or cottage safe from fire is, of course, a priority. Below you will find plenty of information and advice to help you mitigate the risks of fire destroying your property or spreading from your home to the forest.

Can I make a campfire or burn waste today?

The SOPFEU fire danger rating is a good guideline to follow! The appropriate behaviour to adopt for each level of fire danger is laid out below.

  • LOW: This is a good time to burn waste and make campfires.
  • MODERATE: Make only small fires.
  • HIGH: Do not light fires or burn waste if wind speed exceeds 20 km/h.
  • VERY HIGH: Fires should only be made in fire places equipped with standard spark arrestors, whose openings are no wider than 1 centimetre.
  • EXTREME: Avoid making fires.
Keep in mind! When making a fire, be sure to use an adequate fireplace or make your fire directly on mineral soil, away from any combustible material.
Tips from the pros! Download the SOPFEU mobile app (available for iOS and Android) to get automatic alerts when the fire danger level in your area exceeds “high.”
Are fires banned when fire danger rating is extreme?

The SOPFEU and the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs do not systematically issue a ban on open fires when the fire danger is extreme. However, an extreme danger rating indicates a strong probability that a fire burning under these conditions would ignite, spread rapidly, and become uncontrollable.

Such conditions call for greater prudence and vigilance. In this case, campfires, discarded cigarette butts, fireworks, and off-trail ATVs are a hazard in forest areas.

Keep in mind! A number of municipalities and campsites ban fires when the fire danger is high. Be sure to consult the applicable regulations before making a fire.
Tips from the pros! Download the SOPFEU mobile app (available for iOS and Android) to get automatic alerts when the fire danger rating in your area exceeds “high.”
What does “proximity to the forest” mean?

It is difficult to establish a specific distance because the risk of fire spreading is related to a number of factors, including weather conditions, the time of day, and the type of fuel.

In addition, these factors are in turn influenced by the seasons. In spring, for example, extra vigilance is needed. Surface fuel, composed of dry grasses, twigs, and moss, is easily ignited and it can make the fire spread to the surrounding forest areas.

Is waste burning a good solution?

Every year, SOPFEU and municipal firefighters respond to numerous fires caused by out of control burning. Before proceeding to burn dead vegetation such as grass, leaves, and branches, consider the following alternatives:
•Green bin leaf and yard waste recycling
•Taking your yard waste to an ecocentre
•Composting

Keep in mind! In spring, forests are particularly vulnerable. Because of the dryness of the plant debris on the ground (branches, leaves, and grasses), fire can spread very easily.
Tips from the pros! Many municipalities regulate or ban burning. Be sure to consult the municipal regulations for your area before you strike a match.