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Ontario puts restricted fire zones into effect amid COVID-19 pandemic

Friday, April 3rd 2020, 2:08 pm - Restricted fire zones go into effect on April 3

Ontario will put a restricted fire zone into effect on Friday, April 3.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said it is taking this step to reduce the number of human-caused fires, and ensure the province's emergency response is able to stay strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government stated Thursday that Ontario's entire legislated fire region will be designated a Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ), meaning anyone living in the RFZ cannot have an outdoor fire, which extends to the burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fire place or fire pit.

"During this very challenging time when we are fighting the spread of the virus, our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of Ontario," stated John Yakabuski, minister of natural resources and forestry. "We are putting these important preventative measures in place now to ensure that our emergency responders are able to focus their efforts where they are needed most."

Some local municipalities, such as Atikokan and Thunder Bay, have already enacted a restricted fire zone within its municipal boundaries.

Click here to see all restricted areas.

Rules around restrictions can be found here.


Go HERE for our complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic


WATCH BELOW: WHAT IS COVID-19 AND HOW DID IT GET HERE?

This article was originally published for CBC News.

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Thumbnail image source: Min An/Pexels

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