Canada — A southern Ontario man will pay a total of $3,800 for starting a fire that spread into surrounding woods. Matthew Major, of Stoney Creek, was fined $150 for starting a fire during fire season without a permit outside a restricted fire zone, and an additional $150 for failing to extinguish the fire before leaving it unattended.
He also was ordered to pay $3,500 towards the cost of extinguishing the fire. Court heard that at 10:30 a.m. on May 17, Major started a fire to burn boxes of paper in a grassy area on Parmeter Road in Kenora. The fire was started several metres from a wooded area on the property.
Major, who did not have a permit to burn during the day, then left the fire unattended and went into town. The fire spread into the wooded area, sparking a 0.5-hectare forest fire. Firefighters from the City of Kenora and the Ministry of Natural Resources responded to reports of the fire and put it out.
Major returned to the site an hour-and-a-half after leaving to find fire suppression efforts underway. Justice of the Peace Robert McNally heard the case Aug. 9 in Kenora. The public is reminded that during fire season (April 1-Oct. 31), fires cannot be lit for burning during the day and must be extinguished from two hours after sunrise until two hours before sunset. Fires should never be left unattended.