The public is reminded of their responsibilities when conducting any backyard burning.
People should take the following precautions:
- Ensure the fire is away from buildings, trees and combustible materials.
- Have enough people, water and hand tools nearby to prevent a fire from escaping.
- Never leaving a fire unattended until it is completely out by dousing the ashes with enough water that they are cold to the touch.
- Burn only clean, untreated wood or other organic materials. Burning prohibited materials - such as tires, plastics, drywall, demolition waste or treated lumber - can result in hefty fines.
- Never burn when it is windy, as winds can carry embers to other areas and start new fires. If an outdoor burn escapes and causes a wildfire, a person may be responsible for suppression costs.
- Check with local government agencies for current burning bylaws.
A burn registration number is required to burn any pile larger than three metres wide by two metres high, more than two small piles at the same time or for grass burning exceeding 0.2 hectares (more than 2,000 square metres). Numbers can be attained free of charge by calling 1 888 797-1717.
If you are conducting a backyard burn of any size, please be considerate of your neighbours. Burning should not be undertaken if current conditions will cause the smoke to have a negative impact on nearby residences or a community.
For more information on the Province's Open Burning and Smoke Control Regulation, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/reports/agttobsc.html
Government bans certain items from burning to prevent the release of dangerous toxins into the environment. For a complete list of prohibited materials, go to: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/topics/dont-burn-backyard.html
For the B.C. FireSmart manual, visit:
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Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations