OTTAWA -- A city-wide burn ban is now in effect in Ottawa.

Burn bans prohibit all open-air fires in Ottawa, even for those who have permits.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Ottawa Fire says permits can only be issued online right now. You can find out more on the City of Ottawa's fire safety website.

Even with a permit, residents must first contact Ottawa Fire Services at 613-580-2880 to ensure there that a fire ban is not in effect prior to starting any open-air fire.

Ottawa Fire Public Information Officer Jennifer McNeely says seasonal burn bans are not uncommon this time of the year.

"As the ground thaws, it exposes dry surface areas (dry grass, fallen branches, and leaves) that could lead to rapid fire spread. This ban will remain in effect until conditions improve," McNeely said in an email to CTV News Ottawa "As the City is in a state of emergency, it is important that first responders remain available for other priority incidents."