FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2017
Open burning season in the Central Okanagan will begin at 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 13, providing air quality and venting conditions are good, for those property owners obtaining a permit from their local fire authority.
Under Regional District and local fire bylaws, permitted open burning season may start as early as October 1 and end as late as April 30, subject to change by local fire chiefs dependent on fire hazard ratings. For 2017, Central Okanagan fire chiefs decided, given the elevated fire hazard, to postpone issuing permits until late afternoon October 13.
Eligible property owners must obtain a burning permit from their local fire department.* Those eligible to burn within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West fire protection areas (Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside, Wilson’s Landing) may call the Regional District at 250-469-6223 to obtain a permit. (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays).
Before lighting any fire, property owners with a valid permit must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline: 1-855-262-2876 (BURN) to determine if open burning is allowed on a particular day. Both the Venting and Air Quality conditions must be good in order for burning to occur within Central Okanagan fire jurisdictions. This information will also be available each day after 8:00 am at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.
Those property owners with permits should follow these Best Practices to reduce smoke:
- If conditions allow open burning, ignite fires after 10:00 a.m. when venting conditions are usually more favourable;
- Pruning, branches and stumps must be dried for a minimum of two years;
- Make smaller piles with good air ventilation for more efficient burning.
Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas, City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland. Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.
Violators could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone illegally burning (on a non-burning day) by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.
Have Your Say
Online Survey: The Regional Air Quality Program is proposing new bylaws to reduce smoke in the Okanagan, which could see further restrictions imposed on open burning. It’s looking for input from those who obtain burning permits to help shape investments in programs and alternative options that prevent local air pollution. The results from this online survey will be included in a smoke reduction strategy proposal for consideration by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.
Have Your Say online and complete the survey before Sunday, November 19th.