Municipalities in Simcoe County, Muskoka area issue fire bans as fire danger rating hits extreme

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WATCH ABOVE: Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and eastern Canada are in on the intense firefight underway in parts of Ontario. Shallima Maharaj reports – Jul 13, 2018

Several municipalities in the Simcoe County and Muskoka areas have issued full fire bans as the fire danger rating in the region shifts to extreme.

The fire bans apply to all burning outdoors, including all open-air burning and fireworks. Under a burn ban, fires of any kind, including for cooking or warmth, are strictly prohibited, and all town or city-issued burn permits are void until the ban is lifted.

READ MORE: Total fire ban enforced in Oro-Medonte as fire danger rating hits extreme

“Take extra care with anything that might spark a flame, and turn into an accidental fire during the fire ban, period,” Innisfil’s Acting Fire Chief, Tom Raeburn said in a statement. “Protecting our neighbourhoods from accidental, but devastating fires, starts with the fire ban, and continues with the help of each and every Innisfil resident and business.”

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Full fire bans have now been issued in Innisfil, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Springwater, Tay Township, Oro-Medonte, Severn, Ramara First Nation, and Ramara.

Much of the Muskoka area remains under a fire ban as well, including Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, District of Muskoka and Huntsville.

The burn bans are a result of the lack of precipitation and extremely dry conditions the area has experienced lately.

In other parts of the region, including Barrie, Orillia and Collingwood, the fire danger rating has been set to “high.” Fire officials are urging residents with burn permits to do so with extreme caution, to never leave a fire unattended, keep water close by and make sure to extinguish the fire fully when finished.

Officials are also asking residents in areas with a “high” fire danger rating to refrain from burning if their yard is very dry.

Residents living in a region where the fire danger rating is currently set to “high” should be mindful that the level could shift to “extreme” if the hot and dry conditions persist.

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