Open Burning bylaw updated for 2019/2020 burning season

To improve air quality in Central Saanich the regulations for Open Burning are being updated for the 2019/ 2020 burning season. A new bylaw was adopted by Council on October 21, 2019.

The update takes a balanced approach of burning determined by the Provincial Ventilation Index, because on days when the index is poor, smoke does not disperse well into the atmosphere and causes poor air quality.

Below are the general requirements:

  • Open fires will be limited to the winter burning season October 16 - May 15.
  • Open fires require a permit from the fire department; the exception being Recreational Fires.
  • Open burning will be permitted on any day when the Provincial Ventilation Index is forecast to be Good or Fair for the afternoon (4pm) prediction for Southern Vancouver Island on the day of the burn.
  • In an effort to phase in these changes, for the 2019/2020 burning season, Domestic Yard Waste and Agricultural Purpose Fires will continue to be allowed on Friday's regardless of the Provincial Ventilation Index.
  • Every reasonable alternative for reducing, reusing, or recycling the vegetative debris is to be used in order to minimize the amount of vegetative debris to be open burned.
  • Every reasonable effort shall be made to minimize any soil content that may be mixed in the with the vegetative debris.
  • Burn piles are to be constructed in a way that maximizes airflow through the vegetative debris in the pile.
  • Open Burning shall not start earlier than 1 hour after sunrise; and end by 4pm or 2 hours before sunset whichever later.

For updates and further details, please see: If you have any questions, please contact the Fire Prevention Department at 250-544-4238 or visit us at 1512 Keating Cross Road.

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