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. Open Burning Bylaw No. 125 prescribes burning regulations on Salt Spring Island. Highlights of Bylaw 125 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 for burning restrictions before lighting any fire, either at www.saltspringfire.com, SSIFR Facebook or by calling 250 537-2531.
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 (Backyard Burning)
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.
Requirements: campfires are not to exceed 0.5 meters by 0.5 meters in size. Campfires must be a minimum 5 meters from any structure and 1.5 meters from standing vegetation and fencing.
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.
Commercial Category-3 (Land Clearing/Machine Pile) Burning Regulations
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 Act, Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation, Open Burning Smoke Control Code of Practice, the Wildfire Act and the Wildfire Regulations. Bylaw No 125 Open Burning prescribes burning regulations on Salt Spring Island. Highlights of Bylaw 125 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)
- Demolition waste
- Domestic waste
- Paint & Paint products
- Treated Lumber
- Asphalt & Asphalt Products
- Fuel & Lubricant containers
- Biomedical waste
- Tar Paper
- Railway Ties
Additional Burning Information Resources
BC Government – Ministry of Forests:
BC Government – Ministry of Environment:
Re-use or recycle before you burn?
Please check to see if material can be re-used or recycled before you light a burn pile. Call the recycling hotline at 1-800-667-4321 for more information.
The CRD Recycling Depot is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10:00am to 5:00pm at 349 Rainbow Road, Ganges.
Contact them at 537-1200 for more information on materials accepted for recycling.