Fire and Fire Prevention

Fire and Fire Prevention

We are becoming more and more aware and affected by fire. Living near a forest, an open field of dried grass, an old wooden barn, shed or a house, we worry about fire. What can we do to help prevent it? How can we protect ourselves and our homes?

There are many local sources of information and to help you we have quoted some information for you here.

In March, the Régie de l’incendie Memphremagog Est distributed an information brochure. IN it and on their website, you will find the rules governing outdoor fires, those in your backyard in prefabricated fireplaces and open fires, along with advice about how to protect your home, build an evacuation plan and much more.

Backyard fires in a contained prefabricated fireplaces can be enjoyed under the following conditions, without a permit: 

There is an adequate physical barrier (spark arrester or protective screen), a maximum dimension of 27 cubic feet ((ft ‘) 3ft X 3ft X 3ft), and it is resting on a gravel base and not adjoining a building, that complies with the installation standards set out in article 51 and whose smoke does not disturb neighbours. Winds must be under 20km per hour.

The fire place must be 

  1. 5 metres (m) from a main building; 
  2. 5 metres (m) from an accessory building; 
  3. 3 metres (m) from a property line; 
  4. 3 metres (m) from any shrub or arborescent vegetation


Outdoor fires, sometimes called campfires or open-air fires, have a different set of rules. These fires require a permit. Contact the Régie de l’Incendies Est if you live in the MRC of Memphremagog. Contact 873 289 5886 You need a permit to burn branches and wood. You are not allowed to burn leaves, grass, construction materials, garbage etc.

The rules are:

  1. Have authorization or have received a permit from the competent authority;
  2. All outdoor fires are prohibited when the flammability index announced by the Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (SOPEU) for the Estrie region is high, very high or extreme; 
  3. Keep a responsible adult at the fire scene at all times; 
  4. Keep the necessary equipment close to the fire at all times to prevent it spreading; 
  5. Keep the fire under control at all times; 
  6. Do not use flammable liquids (petrol or other) to start or activate the fire; 
  7. Do not light or keep lit any fire if the wind velocity exceeds 20KM;
  8. No flammable liquids should be in the vicinity of the fire; 
  9. Ensure that smoke and ashes do not spread;
  10. The fire must be extinguished before the person responsible leaves the premises; 
  11. Do not use any of the following materials as fuel: plastics of any kind, tires or other rubber-based materials, construction/demolition waste, hazardous or polluting products, hydrocarbons, household waste, garbage, varnished or painted wood or any other product whose combustion is prohibited by municipal and provincial laws and regulations, etc.

SOPFEU is our Quebec Wide emergency Fire service. They have an excellent website which contains additional information. SOPFEU.QC.CA

Download their Protect your home brochure which includes 12 ways to protect your home.

There is a second brochure called Firesmart Begins at home with more in depth information.

Tips from the pros! Download the SOPFEU mobile app (available for iOS and Android) to get automatic alerts when the fire danger level in your area exceeds “high.”

When smoking:

While in the woods or anywhere outdoors, do not smoke while walking around. Do not extinguish your cigarette butt in soil and leave it there. Did you know cigarette butts are an important cause of forest fires especially when the vegetation is dry?

According to SOPFEU, If you smoke in the forest, you must discard all residue properly. Between April 1 and November 15, smoking in or near a forest is prohibited, whether you are working or travelling, unless you are in a building or a closed vehicle.

  • In order to avoid any risk, do not smoke while walking; find a clear area and stop while you smoke.
  • Extinguish your cigarette butt in water or stub it out on a rock. Discard it in a place intended for this purpose

It can take up to 4 or 5 hours from the time a cigarette is crushed to the time the first flame appears. That’s why the Régie incendie Memphrémagog Est reminds you to be vigilant when you put out your cigarettes. If you have to extinguish a cigarette butt outdoors at home, use an ashtray that is protected from the wind and placed on a stable surface.

A friendly reminder: NO FIRES are allowed on our conserved properties, including Ethan`s Beach.

Get informed and stay safe. Together we can help mitigate the danger.