Fire ban from Grand River Conservation Authority

Total fire ban in effect at Guelph Lake Park for Hillside Festival
Posted on Tuesday July 19, 2016, Grand River Conservation Authority News
Recent dry weather means a total fire ban will be in effect at Guelph Lake Park during Hillside Festival weekend for safety reasons.

The fire ban comes into effect on Thursday, July 21 at 8 a.m. and will remain in effect until Monday, July 25 at midnight. The ban is on all open flames including fires in fire pits, fire bowls and chimineas, which campers sometimes bring to Hillside. 

Cooking with a barbeque is still permitted, however the GRCA urges park visitors not to leave barbecues unattended, and to use extreme caution due to the dry conditions. 

“We felt it is best to have at total ban on any open-flame fire in the whole park,” says Brad Dixon, the superintendent of the park. “Some of the campsites are in extremely dry areas wherewe found the grass was very dry. We want everyone to enjoy the weekend and we don’t want fires to get out of hand,” Dixon said.

The Guelph Fire Department, which is responsible for fire service to Guelph Lake Park, is supporting the decision to have a total fire ban in effect at the park for the weekend. Deputy Fire Chief John Osborne noted the only exemption from the fire ban is the sacred fire at the Aboriginal Circle, which burns from 7 a.m. on the Friday until 7 p.m. on Sunday. It will be monitored at all times and an extinguishing agent will be nearby, he said.

Guelph Lake has 350 regular pre-registered campsites that are fully-booked for Hillside Festival weekend. In addition, there are more than 300 campsites, which will be available to campers starting Thursday morning at 8 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

While Guelph Lake received a lot of rain last weekend, unfortunately the dry conditions have persisted. Since early July, fire restrictions had been in effect at Guelph Lake Park — only small cooking fires were permitted 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.  and these were only permitted on campsites.  This policy is expected to come back into effect next Tuesday, July 26.

Failure to comply with the ban could lead to eviction from Guelph Lake Park during the time that the ban is in place.

“Our top priorities are the safety of all our visitors and maintaining the natural areas at Guelph Lake,” Dixon said.

Further information: Lisa Stocco, GRCA Manager of Communications
Phone: 519-621-2763, Ext. 2316 
Email: Lisa Stocco