MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Municipal officials have implemented a ban on open-air fires anywhere in Perth County and Huron County, including bonfires, campfires, fireworks and burn barrels.

Only recreational campfires are permitted in the City of Stratford and the Town of St. Marys, while campfires for cooking are allowed in West Perth, Perth East and Perth South from noon to midnight.

After midnight, all fires must be completely extinguished.

A total burn ban is in place for North Perth and all of Huron County, with no fires of any kind permitted.

All burn permits are also suspended.

The lack of rain has led to extreme dryness in the area, and farmers harvesting are also encouraged to be cautious when operating equipment amid the potential for fast-spreading field fires.

The ban remains in effect until further notice.

Anyone who discovers an open air fire is asked to call 911 immediately.