Backyard Burning

PUBLIC NOTICE

ALL Active Burning Prohibited:

OPEN FIRE RESTRICTION ORDER – INCLUDING CAMPFIRES

Effective noon July 12th, 2024 and until further notice Campfires, Category 2 & 3 open fires are banned, THIS DOES INCLUDE CAMPFIRES. This restriction order covers all the Extension and District and Nanaimo River Fire protection areas to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Specifically, this prohibition refers to the following activities:

campfire is defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.

Category 2 open fire” which means an open fire, other than a campfire, that

a)        burns material in one pile not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width,

b)        burns material concurrently in 2 piles each not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m in width, or c)    burns stubble or grass over an area that does not exceed 0.2 ha.

Category 3 open fire” which means an open fire that burns

a)       material concurrently in 3 or more piles each not exceeding 2 m in height and 3 m width,

b)      material in one or more piles each exceeding 2 m in height or 3 m in width,

c)       one or more windrows, or

d)      stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 ha.

Also prohibited are the activities listed below (Wildfire Act, Section 12):

  • The use of fireworks
  • The use of sky lanterns
  • The use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
  • The use of binary exploding targets
  • The use of tiki and similar kinds of torches
  • The use of chimineas
  • The use of outdoor stoves or other portable campfire apparatus without a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (ULC) rating

A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs


Residential Burning

Residential burning permits shall be valid only for the location and the time period indicated and shall be revoked immediately if the holder fails to comply with the provisions listed below, at the discretion of the Fire Chief, or his authorized representative. RDN BYLAW No. 1028 prescribes burning regulations within the Extension Fire Protection District. Highlights of Bylaw 1028 include:

  • All material burned should originate from the property where burned (except campfires).
  • All fires shall be continuously supervised to prevent damage and injury to people.
  • An adequate amount of extinguishing agent must be present at the burn site, (for example water and hose, or sand & shovel for a campfire).
  • No burning of prohibited materials is permitted. These materials include tires, plastics, drywall, demolition waste, domestic refuse, asphalt, special waste, biomedical waste, treated lumber, railway ties, manure, rubber, paint, tar paper, fuel & lubricant containers.
  • Check the venting index for our region (CNTRL VAN ISLD). If the wood you are burning in your Categories 2 or 3 fire is larger than 10cm in diameter, you may only burn when the Venting Index is Good or Fair. Venting information can be found on the permits page and here.
  • Check for burning restrictions before lighting any fire, either at www.extensionfire.ca or by calling 250-754-3235.

Category-2 (Backyard Burning)

Backyard Burning Requirements: all small brush piles must be a minimum of 10 meters from any structure and 5 meters from standing vegetation and fencing. The size of the pile must not exceed 3 meters in diameter and 2 meters in height. The fires should only be burned in open areas. No material is to be added less than two hours before sunset.

Incinerators (Burning Barrels)

Requirements: incinerators must have a screen covering the entire top opening (1 cm or 3/8 inch mesh). The incinerator and screen must be in good condition and must be 5 meters, from any structure and 1.5 meters from standing vegetation or fencing.

Enforcement/Cost Recovery:

The permit holder will be responsible for all the damage caused by lit fires. Permits will be revoked upon violation of its restrictions. If the Fire Department is called to a fire at the burn location, permitted or not, the property owner or occupant may be responsible to pay all costs incurred for the fire call as determined by the Fire Chief or bylaw officer.

Category-3 (Land Clearing/Machine Pile)

Permits shall be valid only for the location and time period indicated, and shall be revoked immediately if the holder fails to comply with the provisions listed below, at the discretion of the Fire Chief, or duly authorized representative. Category-3 burning shall comply with the Environmental Management ActOpen Burning Smoke Control Regulation, Open Burning Smoke Control Code of Practice, the Wildfire Act and the Wildfire RegulationsRDN BYLAW No. 1028 prescribes burning regulations within the Extension Fire Protection District. Highlights of Bylaw 1028 include:

  • Vegetative debris is burned on the parcel of land from which it originates;
  • Prohibited materials must not be included in the burn pile;
  • The burn must be no closer than 100 meters from the nearest residence or business, and 500 meters from schools in session, hospitals or continuing care facilities;
  • A machine (of suitable size in relation to the size of the pile) must be on site at all times during the burn, as well 24 hour contact information for the machine operator must be provided.

Duration of Burn: The release of visible smoke must cease after 72 hours. If smoke will continue to be released after this length of time, the fire must be extinguished.

Smoke-Free Periods: Open burns must be separated by a smoke-free period of at least 15 days.

Burn Periods: Open burns may occur on the same parcel of land no more than four times per year.

Venting: Open burning may only take place when the venting index is forecast to be GOOD on the day the burn is initiated and at least a FAIR for the following day. It is available at www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/venting.html or by phoning 1-888-281-2992.

Regardless of the venting index, fires must not be initiated if local airflow would likely cause smoke to negatively impact nearby populated areas.

Enforcement/Cost Recovery:

Violations of the Open Burning Smoke control Regulation may result in fines of up to $200,000. Compliance with the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation is enforced by the BC Conservation Officer Service. The property owner and machine operator are responsible to keep informed of changing regulations & guidelines.

The permit holder will be responsible for all the damage caused by lit fires. Permits will be revoked upon violation of its restrictions. If the Fire Department is called to a fire at the burn location, permitted or not, the property owner or occupant will be responsible to pay all costs incurred for the fire call as determined by the Fire Chief. All liability relating to this burn location is the responsibility of the contractor and property owner.

Prohibited Burning Materials (As per the B.C. Ministry of Environment – Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation)

  • Tires
  • Plastics
  • Drywall
  • Demolition waste
  • Domestic waste
  • Paint & Paint products
  • Treated Lumber
  • Asphalt & Asphalt Products
  • Rubber
  • Fuel & Lubricant containers
  • Biomedical waste
  • Tar Paper
  • Railway Ties
  • Manure

Campfires

Requirements: campfires are not to exceed 0.5 meters by 0.5 meters in size. Campfires must be a minimum of 5 meters from any structure and 1.5 meters from standing vegetation and fencing.

No person shall start or maintain a cooking fire contained within a fire pit or a fire in a domestic incinerator:

  1. (a)  when the Forest Danger Rating Sign reads “early shift” or “extreme conditions”.
  2. (b)  unless a person of sixteen (16) years of age or older is, at all times, present at the burning site when the fire is burning, for the purpose of supervising and extinguishing the fire.