Chilliwack Council Asked to Cancel Fall Open Air Burning Season – re: COVID

Courtesy Tree Frog Forestry News

Chilliwack – Chilliwack Fire Chief Ian Josephson will ask council at their Tuesday September 15 meeting, to cancel the fall open air burning season.

In his argument, which is part of the agenda (Page 43 on this link), he states: Recommendation that Council cancel the fall 2020 burning season to reduce negative health impacts from particulate matter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chief went on to explain the health risks combined with the current COVID pandemic and that the smoke could intensify an already serious situation for those with breathing problems. The Fall cold and flu season is also around the corner.

From the City website:

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.

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:

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