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Increased Fines for Starting a Forest Fire

Web posted on July 07, 2017

With forest fire season well underway in Ontario, the province has increased the maximum fines for individuals and corporations for starting forest fires. Forest fire season lasts from April 1 to October 31.

If found responsible, individuals can now be fined up to $25,000 for starting a forest fire, with fines for corporations that start a forest fire going up to $500,000. These increased maximum fines will help deter human-started fires. The last time the maximum forest fire related fines were updated was in 1968.

Approximately half of all forest fires are started by people. Forest fires can cause considerable risk to public safety, can cause expensive property damage and have broader impacts on communities and regional industry.

"We all have a role in preventing wildland fires, and with this change we can ensure those who start the fires pay their fair share. Our government is committed to protecting the people and resources of Ontario, and reducing the risk of human-caused forest fires." Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

These fines only apply to forest fires inside the Fire Region. The Forest Fires Prevention Act only applies to the Fire Region identified in the act. This area excludes southern Ontario except for northern parts of Midhurst, Peterborough and Kemptville districts.