Information on Burn Permits

Permits are required 12 months of the year for any sort of burning, including fire pits, controlled burns, burning barrels within the town and MD of Pincher Creek.

All permits MUST be obtained in person.

For information about obtaining a fire permit please contact the Pincher Creek Emergency Services

As of March 2020 all fire permits for both fire pits and burn permits may require onsite inspection.  Inspections will be carried out in person by a department member and the required permit will be issued once the burn or fire pit is approved.  The responsible party must be present to sign the permit after the inspection.

Burn permits are valid for 10 days from date of issue.  And will allow one 10 day extension by phoning Pincher Creek Emergency Services.. .

Manufactured and approved barbecues are exempt.

Permits are required for fire pits, and outdoor fireplaces for the purpose of cooking or obtaining warmth, provided the appliances for cooking or obtaining warmth are used on the property of the resident or in a public area at a location approved by the authority having jurisdiction.

The following conditions apply to all permits issued for recreational and fire pit open fires.

All burning in the Town of Pincher Creek and the Municipal District of Pincer Creek must comply with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.  The link can be found here.

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, burning guidelines. 


No open fire shall be conducted without a permit.

  1. Recreational and fire pit fires are not to be used for the disposal of combustible waste, brush, or garden refuse. Only clean, dry wood or charcoal is to be burned.
  2. All fires shall be attended at all times by a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older.
  3. A means of extinguishment shall be kept on hand for all fires (i.e. water hose, water in container, or fire extinguisher)
  4. Fire pit installation shall conform to the following:
    • Pit construction shall be of noncombustible material.
    • Maximum dimension of fire pit is one (1) metre (3.5 ft) in diameter.
    • Fire pit shall be covered by a screen with grate openings not to exceed 1/2 inch (1.25 cm)
    • Fire pit shall be located at least three (3) metres (approx. 10.0 ft) from combustible materials but not limited to buildings, fences, patio decks, trees or bushes.
  5. Fire pit permit is not transferable; new owners require new permit when a property containing a fire pit is sold.
  6. Complaints concerning the misuse of fire pits, and recreational fires shall be investigated and permits may be temporarily cancelled under the following conditions:
    • Wind conditions are in excessive of 25 km/h.
    • Fire exceeds pit size.
    • In the opinion of the fire department member conducting the investigation the fire presents a fire hazard to occupants and/or neighbours.
  7. A fire pit or recreational fire permit may be revoked for one or more of the following:
    • Fires left unattended
    • Fires in care and control of a person under the age
      of eighteen (18) years.
    • Fires used in a hazardous manner.
    • No method of fire extinguishments is at hand.
    • Persons in control of the fire in the opinion of the fire department member incapable of controlling the fire.
  8. Fire department at their discretion, extinguish the fire if any conditions found in (6-7) exist.
  9. Portable pits DO NOT fall under Sec. 4 of these regulations.


Guidelines for the Construction of Fire Pits

  1. Pit must be constructed of noncombustible materials (i.e. Heavy gauge metal, Stone, Masonry)
  2. The pit cannot be greater than one (1) metre (approx. 3.5 ft) in diameter.
  3. Pit shall be located a safe distance from all combustibles approximately (3 metres or 10.0 ft)
  4. The pit shall be dug into the ground or constructed above ground in a manner, which will prevent the fuel from falling out of the container.
  5. The pit or container shall contain approximately 25 cm (10.0 inches) of gravel or stone in the bottom.
  6. A ring of sand approximately 15 cm (approx. 6.0 inches) wide be provided around the pit to prevent the grass from growing up to the pit edge.
  7. A grate or mesh screen to act as a spark arrestor shall cover pit or container shall have spacing no greater than 1/2 inch (1.25cm).
  8. Only clean fuel (clean dry wood or charcoal) shall be burned. Refuse or waste material shall not be burned.
  9. The use of such installations shall ensure that smoke or sparks do not create a nuisance or hazard to other properties or neighbours and comply with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
  10. Any person burning under these provisions shall at all times keep a competent person in charge of the fire and ensure that the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the fire.
  11. If any of the guidelines for recreational fires or fire pits are not adhered to, a penalty will be assessed based on current firefighting rates.
  12. Portable pits DO NOT fall Sec. 4 of these regulations.