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A Guide to Wildfires in Ontario 2024

Heading north to camp, paddle, and explore? Here's everything you need to know about wildfires in Ontario this season.
campfire

The beautiful summer season is a time for camping, campfires, marshmallows on the fire, and S'mores. We take full advantage of it here in Ontario. But what to do when wildfires are a concern? 

Wildfires are becoming more frequent in Ontario during the summer months and they can have an impact on the activities of some parks in the Ontario Parks system and on other tourist sites.

As of April 11, 2024, the Canadian government has warned that fire season in Ontario will be particularly active. That means summer campers and visitors will likely encounter smoke in places close to the fires which will make for overcast skies—in the North, in Toronto, in Quebec. 

We are following the situation and will update this page regularly, to help you better plan your trip north. Keep in mind, Northern Ontario is massive, nearly twice the size of Texas! So while you may want to avoid some areas, most of Northern Ontario is open for business as usual. 

If travelling close to a destination affected by the fires we urge you to be cautious. Communicate with your hotel, motel, or campsite, check the updates at the resources below, and know before you go!

Also be aware that in the case of forest fires, the situation can change quickly. Always listen to the authorities and follow any orders or advice you may receive. 

Park Closures in Ontario 

As of April 11, 2024, no Ontario Parks are closed to the public due to forest fires. Ontario Parks posts updated alerts here.

Traffic Closures in Ontario

As of April 11, 2024, there are no road closures or traffic prohibitions due to wildfires in Ontario. 

Fire and Campfire Bans in Ontario

As of April 11, 2024, there are no fire bans in Ontario parks due to wildfires. You can confirm whether campfires are prohibited at the Ontario Parks site or by consulting the Government of Ontario wildfire map—restricted areas are marked with grid lines. When a fire ban is in place, it is forbidden to light candles and the use of a stove is limited to propane. When fire season is in full swing, the situation can change rapidly so check the map for the risk index of wildfires. Check it out as it's important!

Be aware: fire bans are total, and there are hefty fines for anyone who doesn't observe it.

In the Northeast: (update coming soon, see the Ontario Parks page)

In the Northwest: (update coming soon, see the Ontario Parks page)

Central North: (update coming soon, see Ontario Parks page)

Central: Many day-use parks and nature preserves are affected.

The entrance to French River Provincial Park on July 30, 2018. In the smoke!
 
June 12, 2023: lots of fires, provincial restrictions.  Red indicates areas with extreme fire risk, yellow with high risk, green and blue with low or medium risk.
Last year, in June 2023, the region saw lots of fires and provincial restrictions. We will see what's in store for 2024.
 

Open Parks in Ontario During the Forest Fires

With a network of over 330 provincial parks, Ontario Parks has plenty of options for campers! You will find them in particular on the Twitter page of Ontario Parks (in French here and in English here ), those of the Northeast and Northwest parks. Other campgrounds are listed on Camping in Ontario.

You can also consult the interactive map of forest fire risks from the Ministry of Natural Resources to assess the situation.

We repeat: the situation can change quickly in the event of fires or forest fires. So check the X (formerly Twitter) page of the park you want to visit to make sure the information is up to date.

Parks may prohibit campfires depending on the situation—know before you go.

Where To Go For Updates on Ontario Forest Fires

You can follow the Ontario Parks Twitter accounts, where updates are provided regularly. 

On Twitter, the hashtag #ONFires can also be used to follow discussions surrounding the forest fires in Ontario. 

Even better, the official Ministry of Natural Resources page is dedicated to forest fires

You can view the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Forest Fire Information Map by clicking here.

About Andréanne Joly

A freelance journalist and travel writer, Andréanne Joly has been exploring and sharing her attachment to Northern Ontario and its French culture for 20 years. Northern Ontario's destinations are beautiful, diverse, and incredible!

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