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Ditch Burning

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Over the last week, Haldimand County firefighters have responded to numerous fires resulting from the burning of grass and brush in roadside ditches. As the spring season unfolds and agricultural activities intensify, the Haldimand County Fire Department is highlighting the critical issue of fire spread dangers associated with burning ditches. While historically used for land clearing and waste disposal, this practice poses significant risks to communities, ecosystems, and property.

Burning ditches can quickly escalate into uncontrolled fires, especially under unfavourable weather conditions such as dry spells or high winds. Once ignited, flames can rapidly spread to surrounding vegetation, crops, and structures, endangering lives and property.

The indiscriminate burning of ditches poses direct threats to nearby communities, particularly those situated in rural or semi-urban areas. Embers carried by wind can travel significant distances, igniting fires in residential areas and causing property damage or destruction. Smoke from burning ditches can envelop neighbourhoods, posing respiratory hazards and reducing air quality, especially for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

The Haldimand County Fire Department urges property owners to prioritize fire safety and adopt alternative land management practices to mitigate fire risks associated with burning ditches. The burning of brush or grass within ditches is not permitted within Haldimand County. In the event of a fire response resulting from the intentional burning of grass or brush, the property owner is subject to fines and/or cost recovery fees under the Open Air Burning Bylaw.

For more information, please visit or contact the Fire Department at 905-318-5932 ext. 6230, or email