West Shore municipalities each have their own regulations on burning. Here’s what you should know from your local government before grabbing a lighter:
Outdoor burning of any kind in town is prohibited. The ban applies to both open air and incinerator fires, including in barrels and drums.
However, the burning ban doesn’t apply to: indoor residential fireplaces or wood stoves or solid fuel burning appliances;
outdoor gas-fired appliances; outdoor appliances that use charcoal briquettes; and ceremonial burns or fires for the purposes of training the Town’s Fire Department.
Full regulations can be found in the Town’s Fire Services Bylaw. Contact the Fire Department at 250-479-7322.
The city bans open yard fires, beach fires and campfires. Fires for land clearing, demolition and construction waste fires are also not allowed. Beach fires at Esquimalt Lagoon are forbidden.
Charcoal or gas barbecues, portable gas campfires and smokers for curing food are OK.
Contained outdoor burning appliances are permitted as long as the fire rating is not ‘high’ or ‘extreme,’ and the following safety restrictions are followed: Outdoor burning appliances must be manufactured for burning. The fire box size must not exceed 61 centimeters by 61 centimeters. The burning appliance must be mounted or used above or below grade level. Outdoor burning appliances must be 6 meters from any building, fence or combustible materials. Means to extinguish the fire must be available.
Outdoor burning appliances are permitted between dawn and 10 p.m. Residents and visitors can still roast marshmallows at the beach. In fact, portable propane, charcoal briquette or natural gas appliances are permitted as long as the fire rating is low.
Contact the Colwood Fire Station for questions or concerns about burning regulations or a complimentary safety inspection of a newly installed outdoor burning appliance.
Land-clearing fires require a permit. Campfires and residential yard burnings are now open and burning with an incinerator is closed permanently.
Only dry leaves, tree trimmings and residential yard debris are acceptable burning materials. Burning is allowed from Oct. 1 to May 31, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Campfires don’t require a permit and must: be at or under two feet in diameter; only burn clean dry firewood; be 20 feet away from any structure, trees, fence or shrubs; have a hose or tool to control the fire; and be fully extinguished with water by midnight.
Fires are not allowed on any beach within the district. Land clearing fires must comply with provincial laws and have a written permit on site from the Metchosin Fire Department.
Venting Index must be ‘good’ the day of and ‘fair’ the day after the burn. Residents may burn a maximum of four times a year, per parcel. Permits are issued at the discretion of the fire chief or designate – and can be recalled at any time.
All open burning requires a permit. Campfires for recreational purposes are permitted. Incinerator burning is permitted with an appropriate screen cover.
Piles larger than one metre by one metre require a permit year-round. Burns one metre by one metre or smaller may require a permit. Permits can be obtained by contacting the fire chief at 250-920-6970 or email@example.com.
The city has two permitted burn periods: between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30 and March 15 and April 15. Burning is banned on long weekends.
The fire must have 6 meters of clearance from any structure and 3 meters from shrubbery and wooden fences. The base of the open fire can be up to 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres.
A residential property is allowed a maximum of two permits per burning period – up to 20 permits will be issued per day throughout the city. Burning is permitted from sunrise to sunset, and only leaves and tree trimmings are allowed. Burning is also not permitted during high wind periods, even if a permit has already been issued.