Information on Open Burning in Chilliwack
Update: The provincial fire ban for category 1, category 2, and category 3 will be lifted as of noon on September 27. The fall 2023 burning season is from October 1, 2023, to November 30, 2023. For more information click here. The City recommends that residents consider alternatives to open burning to reduce air polution, such as: chip/grind the material for on-site use, compost the material, use curbside compostable waste collection, or drop off accepted material at Parr Road Green Depot.
Click on a topic below to skip to the relevant section:
- Updated Open Burning Bylaw
- Information about campfires
- Reporting violations or burning complaints
- Provincial requirements and best practices
- Applying for a Burning Permit
- Is burning permitted today? (Ventilation Index)
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.
- 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.
Information on Campfires
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:
- Chip/grind the material for on-site use
- Compost the material
- Curbside Compostable Waste Collection
- Parr Road Green Depot
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 www.mychilliwack.com or visit the front ticket window at City Hall to obtain your burning permit.
For any other burning season information or restrictions, please call the Fire Department at 604.792.8713.
City of Chilliwack - Open Air Burning
Issued: Saturday Sep 30, 2023
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