Outdoor fires

Bonfires

Outdoor fires are prohibited (including fires to burn plant waste and bonfires) anywhere in Gatineau. Only bonfires may be authorized, as long as a bonfire permit has been obtained from the Service de sécurité incendie de Gatineau (SSIG).

Bonfire permit application

A bonfire permit application must be submitted at least 30 days before the fire is built. Certain conditions apply, and the instructions indicated on the bonfire permit must be followed to ensure public safety.

A fire may not be started or fueled with an accelerant. The fire must be located at least 75 metres from any building, and 20 metres from any tree, shrub or plant.

Moreover, it is your responsibility to check with the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPFEU) as to whether any fire bans are in effect. You can do this by consulting the organization's Web site at www.sopfeu.qc.ca.

For details on how to apply for a permit, contact a Service de sécurité incendie inspector for a site inspection. You can also call 311.

The permit is free.

Mechoui

If you want to barbecue on a spit (commonly known as a mechoui) and you cannot use an appliance specifically designed and built for this kind of cooking, the Service de sécurité incendie may authorize you to use a bonfire at ground level. However, you must apply for a bonfire application at least 30 days before the event.

Outdoor fireplaces

It is prohibited to burn garbage, scraps or recyclable material in an outdoor fireplace. Only dry wood or dry wood derivatives, coal, briquettes or any other product specifically designed and recognized for the outdoor fireplace may be used in a fireplace.

Portable outdoor fireplace: no permit required

Use is subject to the manufacturer's instructions regarding use and installation.

In order to qualify, it must be:

  • fuelled by natural gas, propane gas, electricity or any other fuel specifically designed and recognized for the outdoor fireplace;;
  • placed solidly on the ground, carry the seal of a recognized organization, and be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions regarding use; and
  • located at least one metre away from any combustible material.

Permanent outdoor fireplace: permit required

In order to build a permanent outdoor fireplace, a permit must be obtained from the Service de l'urbanisme et du développement durable of Gatineau. The fireplace must be built on site with incombustible materials, solidly anchored to the ground, equipped with a grill and a lid to prevent sparks from escaping, and must be installed on an incombustible base that extends one metre beyond the perimeter of the fireplace.

It is important to note that you must comply with certain requirements when using your permanent outdoor fireplace. Burning garbage, scraps or recyclable material is prohibited. Fireplaces must be installed in accordance with the following requirements:

  • 16 metres away from a main building;
  • 6 metres away from an accessory building, shed or garage;
  • 20 metres away from a property line; and
  • 3 metres away from a tree, bush, shrub or other vegetation.

Permits cost $50.

Burning plant material on agricultural land

Plant material may be burned on agricultural land as long as the owner is a member of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA). At the request of the competent authority, the owner must identify him/herself and show the proper documents. Unless such evidence is provided, the competent authority may require that the fire be extinguished. If the farmer is renting the land where the plant material is being burned, he/she will have to show written authorization from the owner for burning the fire. A fire may be built as long as:

  • the pile of materials to be burned is no more than 2 metres high;
  • the equipment required to prevent the fire from spreading is or will be on hand where the fire will be burning, for the full duration of the fire;
  • the wind speed does not exceed 20 km/h;
  • The Société de protection des forêts contre le feu has not issued any prohibition concerning the risk of fire.
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