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Yes, police will lay charges if you light a bonfire

Elliot Lake man charged with lighting a backyard fire during current fire ban; offence carries a possible $880 fine under the Forest Fires Prevention Act
OPP file photo

Yes, there is a fire ban in effect across the province. And yes, police will charge you if they find you near a bonfire.

Not convinced? Look no further than Elliot Lake.

On Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 p.m., officers with the East Algoma detachment of the OPP were dispatched to assist Elliot Lake firefighters dealing with an apparent backyard bonfire on Bennett Drive.

"Police attended the residence and located a person in the backyard attempting to put the fire out," says a press release from the Ontario Provincial Police. "The owner of the residence was not aware this was going on and wanted the known person to leave the property. When asked to do so, the person refused and was therefore arrested and charged accordingly."

Darren Hyatt, 55, of Elliot Lake is charged with two counts under the Provincial Offences Act: unlawfully starting a fire in a restricted fire zone, and failing to leave a premises when directed. 

If convicted, a person who lights a fire in a restricted zone can be fined up to $880.

None of the allegations have been tested in court and Hyatt is considered innocent unless proven guilty.


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