Open Burning

Information on Open Burning in Chilliwack

The spring 2024 burning season is from March 1, 2024 to April 30, 2024. The fall 2024 burning season is from October 1, 2024 to November 30, 2024. The City recommends that residents consider alternatives to open burning to reduce air pollution, such as:

  • Chip/grind the material for on-site use
  • Compost the material
  • Use curbside compostable waste collection,
  • Drop off accepted material at Parr Road Green Depot.

In February 2021, Council adopted an updated Open Burning Bylaw, with new requirements to align with the BC Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation and reduce pollution from open burning.

Click on a topic below to skip to the relevant section:

Updated Open Burning Bylaw

Key components of the City's updated Open Burning Bylaw include:

  • Open burning is limited to two separate seasons per year:
    • March 1 to April 30 
    • October 1 to November 30
  • A burning permit is required for each season - Apply online during the burning season.
  • Burning is only permitted on agricultural and rural properties.
  • Land clearing burning is prohibited.
  • Burning is only permitted when the Environment Canada ventilation index is good.  The current ventilation index is posted at the bottom of this webpage during the burning season. Note that there are typically many more days with a "good" ventilation index in the spring burning season compared to the fall burning season so residents may want to plan their burning accordingly.
  • For safety reasons, burning is not permitted if winds exceed 25 km/hr (even if the ventilation index is good). Wind speeds can be checked by clicking on the Environment Canada weather forecast link at the bottom of this page.
  • Only one pile may be burned at a time on the same property. Burning pile size restrictions apply: maximum 2 metres high and 3 metres in diameter.
  • Minimum setbacks apply:
    •  15m from fences, hedges or power poles/lines or on-site buildings
    • 100m from neighbouring residences or businesses
    • 500m from hospital, schools or care facilities
    • 30m from streams or public roads
  • Burning is only permitted between the hours of 7:00am and 5:00pm.
  • The material to be burned must consist of only clean, seasoned vegetative debris.  No burning of any construction/demolition material, waste or stumps.
  • Steps must be taken to minimize smoke:
    • Minimize soil content
    • Maximize air flow
    • Burn only seasoned vegetative debris
  • An adult must be present at all times during the burn.
  • Burning restrictions do not apply to gas fueled appliances such as BBQ’s or outdoor heaters.
  • Bylaw violations will result in fines ranging from $250 - $1000 per offence.

Click here to view a copy of the slides presented to Council on February 2, 2021.  Open Burning Bylaw No. 5038 can be viewed in the bylaw section of the website.

Information on Campfires

Within the City of Chilliwack, any free-standing appliance or fire pit that burns wood is not permitted to be used in Chilliwack at any time of the year.

A great alternative is a propane or natural gas fuel burning campfire or table top type appliance commonly found in hardware stores. These appliances are permitted to be used year-round, are safer and better for the environment.

Reporting Violations or Burning Complaints

Please contact the Fire Department at 604.792.8713 to report violations Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm. After hours, please call 604.215.4842. In case of a fire emergency, call 9-1-1.

Additional information and requirements are available from the City of Chilliwack Fire Department at 604.792.8713.

Provincial Requirements & Best Practices

In addition to the City’s Bylaw requirements, there are a few other provincial requirements that apply if you are burning material 10cm (4") in diameter or larger.  These include notifications to residents and businesses within 500 metres before burning, burning no more than 12 days/year or 6 days/month on a given parcel and exhausting all reasonable alternatives to divert vegetative debris and minimize the amount to be burned. Please visit the BC Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation website for details.

Please consider these alternatives to burning to reduce air pollution:

Please also review the Ministry of Agriculture’s Open Burning Practices webpage for additional guidance on how to minimize smoke production while burning.

The Ministry of Forests also provide information related to open burning:

Applying for Burning Permits

Apply for your burning permit online! Through our online system, your address will automatically determine if you are eligible for a permit in your area and only properties zoned for burning will be issued permits.

The spring burning season is March 1 - April 30 and the fall burning season is October 1 - November 30. Please visit  or visit the front ticket window at City Hall to obtain your burning permit. 

Note that there are typically many more days with a "good" ventilation index in the spring burning season compared to the fall burning season. Residents may want to consider this when determining when to burn since refunds will not be issued for burning permits if residents don't get an opportunity to burn due to a limited number of "good" ventilation index days during the burning season.

For additional information about applying for a burning permit, please call the Bylaw Department at 604.793.2908.

For any other burning season information or restrictions, please call the Fire Department at 604.792.8713.

City of Chilliwack - Open Air Burning
Issued: Friday Apr 19, 2024

Burning is permitted today.

The current venting index is "GOOD".

For safety reasons, burning is not permitted if winds exceed 25 km/hr, even if the ventilation index is GOOD. Wind speeds can be checked by clicking on the Environment Canada weather forecast link below.

Permits are $35 per burning season.

Chilliwack Weather Forecast from Environment Canada
Issued Friday April 19, 2024 at 16:00 PDT
Description Date File Size 
Open Burning - Council - Feb 2, 2021 2021-02-02 1.42MB 
Open Burning Bylaw - Quick Facts 2021-02-23 176KB