Reviewing the Open Air Burning Bylaw

We are reviewing our Open Air Burning Bylaw with the goal of improving air quality.

The bylaw was originally adopted in 1993 and restricts what materials can be burned, as well as where and when outdoor burning can take place.

In an effort to improve air quality for our residents, we are beginning with a look at backyard burning, including limitations on materials, setbacks and time periods. Staff are consulting with the community before making recommendations to Council.

Why examine our current open air burning practices?

Island Health has flagged outdoor smoke as a health concern, and has brought this to the attention of local municipalities.

We are reviewing our Open Air Burning Bylaw with the goal of improving air quality.

The bylaw was originally adopted in 1993 and restricts what materials can be burned, as well as where and when outdoor burning can take place.

In an effort to improve air quality for our residents, we are beginning with a look at backyard burning, including limitations on materials, setbacks and time periods. Staff are consulting with the community before making recommendations to Council.

Why examine our current open air burning practices?

Island Health has flagged outdoor smoke as a health concern, and has brought this to the attention of local municipalities.

  • Open Burning bylaw updated for 2019/2020 burning season

    about 1 month ago

    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...

    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: https://www.centralsaanich.ca/programs-services/fire/burning-information. If you have any questions, please contact the Fire Prevention Department at 250-544-4238 or visit us at 1512 Keating Cross Road.


  • Council to Receive Report on Burning Bylaw at Sept 9 Meeting

    3 months ago

    With the second phase of public comment now concluded, Central Saanich Council will receive a staff report on the burning bylaw at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, September 9, 2019. The report will be published with the meeting agenda by Friday, September 6. This meeting is open to the public and an opportunity for Council to discuss the recommendations. It takes place in Council Chambers at Municipal Hall, 1903 Mt Newton Cross Rd, at 7:00 p.m.

    With the second phase of public comment now concluded, Central Saanich Council will receive a staff report on the burning bylaw at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, September 9, 2019. The report will be published with the meeting agenda by Friday, September 6. This meeting is open to the public and an opportunity for Council to discuss the recommendations. It takes place in Council Chambers at Municipal Hall, 1903 Mt Newton Cross Rd, at 7:00 p.m.

  • Phase 2 of Burning Bylaw Consultation Now Underway - Proposed Bylaw Changes

    6 months ago
    Fire types csaan definitions graphic

    With the summary of public feedback (available here: What We Heard) in hand, staff have drafted new guidelines for open air burning in Central Saanich.

    The Draft Guidelines, include:

    • that burning not be restricted by day of the week, but by whether atmospheric conditions are favourable for burning (based on the provincial venting index).
    • new definitions for open air fires (aligned with provincial definitions) and are accompanied by restrictions around when and how they can occur.
    The Fire Chief was able to meet with 40 farmers during the Agricultural Topics open house at the Central...

    With the summary of public feedback (available here: What We Heard) in hand, staff have drafted new guidelines for open air burning in Central Saanich.

    The Draft Guidelines, include:

    • that burning not be restricted by day of the week, but by whether atmospheric conditions are favourable for burning (based on the provincial venting index).
    • new definitions for open air fires (aligned with provincial definitions) and are accompanied by restrictions around when and how they can occur.
    The Fire Chief was able to meet with 40 farmers during the Agricultural Topics open house at the Central Saanich Fire Station on May 28, and received excellent feedback about agricultural burning needs.


    Feedback can be sent to fdadmin@csaanich.ca.
  • What We Heard! Summary of Phase 1 of Community Consultation

    8 months ago

    Are you interested in what we heard from the community? Staff are currently preparing a report for Council—this will include a summary of feedback and recommendations, and it will be presented at the Council meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at Municipal Hall. The report will also be posted on this site.

    Are you interested in what we heard from the community? Staff are currently preparing a report for Council—this will include a summary of feedback and recommendations, and it will be presented at the Council meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at Municipal Hall. The report will also be posted on this site.