The forest fire danger rating in the District of Muskoka has been set to high.    

Small fires are permitted in most rural areas of Muskoka but no daytime burning is allowed.

The Township of Muskoka Lakes has also issued a fireworks ban ahead of the long weekend.  The ban is issued when the fire danger rating is upgraded to high or extreme.

“Where homes are right up against forests, bush lines, that's usually where it's dangerous, because if people are going to have fires and they don’t contain them or protect them  they could end up in the forest and we end up with bush fires,” said Doug Holland, a fire prevention officer with the Township of Muskoka Lakes.  

The ban will remain in place until the danger rating is downgraded to moderate or low.

“We need two or three days of substantial, consistent rain to bring that forest fire danger rating down to a low or moderate,” said Holland.

Local fire departments are urging extreme caution must be taken with all open flames.