default page

In case of fire emergency, call 911

Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department
Ron Smith, Chief
Lake Huron Drive, Desbarats, Ontario P0R 1E0
(705) 782-6802

CO alarms are now required

Compliance with the legislation will be phased-in:

  • Single-family homeowners and property owners/tenants in buildings that contain no more than 6 suites will have a period of six months to comply (April 15, 2015).
  • Residential occupancy owners of buildings with more than 6 suites have 12 months to comply (October 15, 2015).
  • CO alarms that have already been installed must be maintained in accordance with the Fire Code effective October 15, 2014.

Fire ban

A fire ban is the prohibition of all outdoor fires including fireworks and pyrotechnics. Conditions are sufficiently dry and impose a higher than usual risk of forest fires. Anyone who contravenes a fire ban is liable to a fine, and whatever cost that are associated with extinguishing this unlawful fire.

Restricted fire zone

A restricted fire zone means a ban on all outdoor fires and is declared by the Ministry of Natural resources when conditions are dangerously dry and the threat of forest fires is extreme. Anyone who contravenes a restricted fire zone can expect a visit from MNR, the OPP and your local fire department and is subject to heavy fines and may be liable for the cost associated with extinguishing this unlawful fire. See Forest Fires Prevention Act R. S.O 1990 c. f. 24 for details.

The Volunteer Fire Department meets Monday nights at 7:00 p. m. at the Fire Hall located on Lake Huron Drive for training and meetings. New members welcome!

Fire permit

Fire permits are required for all outside burning. Permits are of no charge, and remain valid through December 31st of the year issued. Applications can be completed online or filled out at the Township office. Online applications will be processed immediately and returned via the email address you provide.

Please remember that fire permits are subject to changes due to fire bans. Watch this website for bans throughout the season.

Apply online for a fire permit

Download safety guidelines for all types of burning (PDF)

Safety when burning grass and debris

Safety is key.

  • Ensure that you have a valid burn permit
  • Choose a safe time – Ignite the fire no sooner than 2 hours before sunset and extinguish it no later than 2 hours after sunrise; never burn on a dry, windy day
  • Keep your fire small – Burn only a single pile at one time and ensure the pile is less than 2 meters in diameter and less than 2 meters high
  • Choose a safe site – Keep the fire at least 2 meters from any flammable materials and have a shovel, rake and adequate water to contain the fire at the fire site
  • Stay with your fire – Ensure a responsible person tends the fire and never leave it unattended. Keep it under control at all times and make sure that is completely extinguished before leaving it
  • Remember! – If your burn gets away and becomes a wildfire, you will be liable for the suppression costs and damages to property including the value of lost timber.


Building a safe campfire

  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, rotten stumps, logs, dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep the campfire small – a good bed of coals or a small fire surrounded by rocks gives plenty of heat. Use an existing fire ring if possible.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could quickly cause the fire to spread.
  • Start with dry twigs and small sticks. Remember that a good fire builder never needs gas or kerosene to start a fire.
  • Add larger sticks as the fire grows. Avoid using hatchets or saws, or breaking branches off trees. Dead and down wood burns easily.
  • Put the big pieces on last, pointing them toward the center and pushing them into the flames. Use wood no larger than the diameter of an adult wrist.

Putting out your campfire

  • If your campfire is not “dead out”, wind can rekindle the embers and start a wildfire. Follow these steps to be safe.
  • Keep plenty of water handy and have a shovel for throwing dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.
  • Be sure your match is out cold. Break it so you can feel the charred portion before carefully discarding it.
  • Drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers and sticks are wet. Move rocks to check for burning embers underneath them.
  • Stir the remains, add more water and stir again. Be sure all burned material has been put out and cooled. Smaller pieces of wood are easier to put out than large logs.
  • Feel all materials with your bare hand. Make sure that no roots are burning.
  • Campfires may be banned if wildfires are likely. Watch for ban signs and obey them.