Whether or not you can burn or have a campfire is governed by the BC Wildfire Act which is implemented in our region by the RDOS and overseen by local fire departments. The act ensures that when burning occurs, it is done safely without impact to others. The main factors affecting burning are the level of humidity in the air and in the ground, the winds and the venting index. Clearly, when it is very dry and the risk of fire spreading fast is high, burning will not be permitted. What is less obvious is that if the smoke from a fire has no way to escape up and would settle over the local area affecting the breathing of all living creatures – burning will not be permitted. This is what happens when the venting index is less than 55. From time to time, the wind speed will be too high to effectively control a small fire – the RDOS will also ban burning during those times. When in doubt, please contact the Fire Dept. to get the latest on whether or not you can burn.
Open Fire Regulations (click on the title for more information)
|Campfires||Any fire smaller than 0.5 meters high by 0.5 meters wide|
|Category 2 Fires||1 to 2 concurrently burning piles no larger than 2 meters high by 3 meters wide|
|Stubble or grass burning over an area less than 0.2 hectares|
|Category 3 Fires||Any fire larger than 2 meters high by 3 meters wide|
|3 or more concurrently burning piles no larger than 2 meters high by 3 meters wide|
|1 or more burning windows|
|Stubble or grass burning over an area greater than 0.2 hectares|
The Wildfire Act applies on both public (Crown) and private land throughout B.C.: Wildfire Act
Please report wildfires by calling *5555 or 1 800 663-5555
Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be fined up to $1,150. If your fire escapes and results in a wildfire, you may be fined anywhere from $100,000.00 to $1 million and be sentenced to up to one year in prison. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any open fire.