Open Air Burning

Chilliwack’s spring burning season is cancelled, effective March 26, 2020.

*New* Provincial Media Release - The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has banned open burning for areas with high smoke sensitivity, effective March 26, 2020. Chilliwack is included in this prohibition. 

The March 26 start date replaces the original April 1 start date specified in the Fire Chief's Order to cancel outdoor burning in Chilliwack. Chilliwack's ban extends until the end of the spring burning season (April 30).

By Order of the Fire Chief and pursuant to the City’s Open Air Burning Bylaw No. 3511, all outdoor burning within the City of Chilliwack will be banned. Council made the decision on March 25, 2020 to terminate burning during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the negative public health impacts smoke can cause. 

We are currently working on a process for spring 2020 burning permit refunds and will post information here as soon as it is confirmed. Please call 604.792.8713 for more information. We appreciate your patience.

Outdoor Burning

Please contact the Fire Department at 604.792.8713 to report violations.

Outdoor burning is prohibited except for the following 2020 burning seasons:

March 1, 2020 – March 26, 2020
October 1, 2020 – November 30, 2020

Outdoor burning is only permitted in agricultural zones. Fines of $250 or more may be levied under the fire regulation bylaw for outdoor burning in violation of these regulations. Please confirm with the Bylaw Department at 604.793.2908 for proper zoning.

Burning outside of those designated seasons is prohibited. 

Additional provincial restrictions apply to burning material 10cm (4") in diameter or larger.

Burning restrictions do not apply to gas fueled appliances such as BBQ’s, or outdoor gas heaters. Certified gas fired outdoor fireplace appliances are permitted as long as all clearances are being met.

Open Air Burning Bylaw

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

  • Land clearing burning is prohibited.
  • Open air burning is limited to 2 separate seasons per year (Apply online for your burning permit)
    • March 1 to April 30 (March 26 in 2020)
    • October 1 to November 30
  • Burning is only permitted when the Environment Canada ventilation index is good or fair.  For the current venting index, contact the Bylaw Department at 604.793.2908 or check our website.
  • Burning pile size restrictions and minimum setbacks apply. 
  • Burning is only permitted between the hours of 7:00am and 10:00pm.
  • 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.

Additional information and requirements are available from the City of Chilliwack Bylaw Dept at 604.793.2908 or the Fire Dept at 604.792.8713. You can also review bylaw "Open Air Burning Regulation Bylaw No. 3511" in the bylaw section of the website.

For information on alternatives to burning:

New Provincial Requirements

In addition to the City’s Bylaw requirements, there are new, stricter provincial requirements that apply if you are burning material 10cm (4") in diameter or larger.  These include requiring a "good" ventilation index and larger setbacks from residences, schools and other buildings, etc. Please visit the BC Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation website for details.

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, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and BC Parks also provide information related open air burning on provincial land:

Burning Permits Online

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 (March 26 in 2020) and the fall burning season is October 1 - November 30. Please visit or visit the Bylaw Department at City Hall to obtain your burning permit.

For additional information, please email or call the Bylaw Department at 604.793.2908 or the Fire Department at 604.792.8713.

Chilliwack Weather Forecast from Environment Canada
Issued Thursday April 02, 2020 at 16:00 PDT
Description Date File Size
BC Press Release - Open Burning Restrictions - March 26 2020 2020-03-26 1.57MB
Quick Facts 2017-09-28 130KB