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Commercial burning fees and regulations

A permit is required for all commercial burning in Calgary.

The Calgary Fire Department may issue permits for ground thawing fires required for construction or live fires used for fire extinguisher training by a licensed, approved company. Permits may be issued for a single burn or annually.

Commercial burning fees

Ground Thawing Season Permit: $500/season

Training Fire Single Burn Permit: $100

Training Fire Annual Burn Permit: $1039

Obtaining a burn permit

Apply for a permit at the Fire Prevention Bureau building at 5727 23 Ave S.E. A Fire Safety Codes Officer reviews the permit and if approved, the permit will be issued and the permit fee will be invoiced.

Ground thawing

Ground thawing is used in cold weather to thaw frozen ground. It usually involves burning coal for a period of time.

Several factors must be taken into consideration prior to a commercial burn, including wind direction, speed and other ambient conditions. If the burn will create unsafe conditions, the fire must be delayed.

The fires must be started between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Unless otherwise stipulated, and there must be 24-hour surveillance of the burn site.

A fire safety plan must be provided that includes:

  • Type of surveillance to be used.
  • Method of fire extinguishing.
  • The applicant's competency in the use of the fire extinguishing method.

A barricade or sign with the company's name and phone number is required on all burn sites. The site must be identified with flashers and barricades if located on a roadway or sidewalk.

All residents and businesses within a 150 metre radius of the ground thawing site must be notified three business days prior to the start of the commercial burn.

Burning standards

  • To minimize smoke and odours, only sub-bituminous or higher-grade coals may be used.
  • A propane torch is the only source of ignition permitted.
  • A protective covering over the coals must be used for lighting the fire and the thawing process.
  • Once thawing is complete, the site(s) must be returned to pre-burn conditions.

Fire extinguisher training

Permits are required for live fire extinguisher training and must be obtained 72 hours before the start of the burn. At least two people are required on site and participants must wear appropriate clothing and safety gear.

For more information about commercial burning, please call the Fire Prevention Bureau through 3-1-1 or 403-268-2489 from outside Calgary.​​​​​