Clear Lake Property Owners Association Clear Lake Property Owners Association
Fire Safety

Fire safety is the responsibility of every cottager on Clear Lake. Having a camp fire spark a major forest fire would be devastating to all of us and would destroy our lake environment. We ask that you all practice proper fire safety at all times. Following the guidelines outlined below will help ensure nothing happens when you are having a camp fire.

Burning By-Law

The Corporation of the Township of Muskoka Lakes has a burning bylaw prescribing the times during which fires may be set in the open air, and the precautions to be observed by persons setting out fires. A copy is available for viewing online:

Burning By-Law, 31Kb

A safe campfire meets all of the following criteria:

  • is built on bare rock or sand (mineral soil);
  • is located far away from anything flammable, including overhanging tree branches;
  • is a small campfire. For example, you can sit within one metre of it comfortably, the flames are not over one metre high and it can be controlled;
  • has a responsible person watching it at all times;
  • is made and put out with an adult supervising.

An unsafe campfire meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • is built on a hot, windy day;
  • is left without someone watching it;
  • is too big. For example, is more than one metre high, is too hot to be within a metre, and cannot be controlled;
  • does not have a pile of wood for fuel, which means that the people watching it must leave for more;
  • is built on wood soil and close to trees.

How to extinguish a campfire
Drown the fire with water. Stir the ashes with a long stick to turn over hot coals and ashes. Move rocks to find hidden embers and coals. Drown the fire with water again. Repeat the procedure until the ashes stop smoking and hissing and everything looks wet.

Weather affects campfires in many ways and generally determines the kind of fire that will be experienced.

Wind - Wind increases the supply of oxygen to the fire. Wind may blow sparks from your campfire to grass and trees around it. The sun heats up grass and trees and the layer of dead leaves, needles and grass and dries them out. This makes it easier for them to catch fire.

Clouds - Clouds can cover the sun to make a day cooler. This means that the trees and grass will not dry as fast as on a sunny day.

Rain - Rain soaks into the grass, trees and layer of dead leaves, needles and grass, which makes it harder for them to catch fire.

Visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website to find out more about Safe Burning.

Restricted Fire Zones
A "Restricted Fire Zone" is an Order made by the Minister of Natural Resources, under the Forest Fires Prevention Act, that restricts the use of open fires in a specific area of the province. It is used when the fire hazard is extreme and/or when fire fighting resources are stretched to capacity.

> What You Should Know About Restricted Fire Zones

> Current Restricted Fire Zones