Preventing wildland fires caused by industrial operations
Ontario Regulation 207/96
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Forest Fires Prevention Act
Summary of Decision:
A decision was made to proceed with the proposal. The proposal was implemented by an amendment to O. Reg. 207/96 (Outdoor Fires) by O. Reg. 332/15. This regulation was filed by the Registrar of Regulations on November 6, 2015 and published in the Ontario Gazette on November 21, 2015.
May 14, 2015
Summary of Proposal:
Industrial operations in forest areas constitute a significant risk of wildland fire. The risk includes fire and smoke that threaten the safety of the industrial operation, their staff, surrounding values like communities, infrastructure such as power lines and travel corridors, commercial forest licenses, and numerous other social and economic values.
Forest industry is required to take actions to prevent wildland fires while working in forest areas. The current guideline for these actions is the Modifying Industrial Operations Protocol. The Ontario government is proposing to extend these actions to all other industrial operations within the forest areas of the legislated fire region. The proposal regulatory changes will lead to a consistent approach for all industrial operations and will reduce: the number of wildland fires starting; the impacts to industrial staff, operations and other values in the area; and the cost of fire suppression.
The proposed regulatory changes to amend Ontario Regulation 207/96 under the "Forest Fires Prevention Act" will provide direction for the prevention and suppression of wildland fires in forest areas within the fire regions during the fire season, normally April 1 - October 31.
Following the proposed regulatory changes will ensure that:
industrial operations are conducted in a manner that prevents wildland fires from starting;
wildland fires are detected and reported to Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) so that they receive a timely response;
industrial operators are able to continue to work safely and as long as possible, as the risk of fire increases; and
employees are adequately trained to use available equipment to take safe action that will reduce the negative impact or damage from a fire, should one occur.
The proposed regulatory changes consist of the following requirements for industrial operations within forest areas:
Development of a Fire Prevention and Preparedness Plan which includes contacts at the company who will be responsible for wildland fire prevention and suppression activities, fire prevention measures that will be put in place, available fire suppression equipment and training levels for staff that may need to respond to wildland fire ignitions.
Preparedness activities including having firefighting equipment and trained staff on hand to take immediate action on small fires that are ignited by industrial operations or occur near industrial operations to reduce their spread.
Modifications and/or mitigation actions that will be required as the risk of wildland fire ignition and spread increases.
Mitigation actions that will be required for maintaining the vegetation on industrial rights-of-way (e.g., power lines, railways, to reduce the risk of starting wildland fires).
Additional detail concerning the first three items can be found in the draft Industrial Operations Protocol.
January 1, 2016