Do I need a fire permit?
Fires that do not require a permit
- Small backyard recreational fires. What you need to know:
- Recreational fires are permitted regardless of the Venting Index unless a fire ban is in place.
- A recreational fire is a maximum size of 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) high by 1.5 feet wide using clean, proper firewood for recreation purposes, which includes cooking or heating.
- Recreational fires must be situated at least 3 meters away from any building, structure, fence, property line, trees, bushes or other combustible materials.
Fires that require a permit
- Yard waste fires
- Agricultural fires
- Category 3 fires (land clearing)
To obtain a permit
- Familiarize yourself with the burning information below
Apply in person at Fire Station #1 on Keating Cross Road OR
Please remember: Beach fires at Island View Beach are not permitted.
If you have any questions, please contact the Fire Prevention Department at 250-544-4238 or visit us at 1512 Keating Cross Road.
Below are the general requirements for all other Open Burning as per the revised Open Burning Regulation Bylaw 2009
- Open fires will be limited to the winter burning season October 16 - May 15
- Open fires require a permit from the fire department; the exception being Recreational Fires
- Every reasonable alternative for reducing, reusing, or recycling the vegetative debris is to be used in order to minimize the amount of vegetative debris to be open burned;
- Every reasonable effort shall be made to minimize any soil content that may be mixed in the with the vegetative debris
- Burn piles are to be constructed in a way that maximizes airflow through the vegetative debris in the pile
- Open Burning shall not start earlier than 1 hour after sunrise; and end by 4pm or 2 hours before sunset whichever later
- The venting forecast for Domestic Yard Waste Fires and Agricultural Purpose Fires must be "Good" or "Fair" for the afternoon (4pm) prediction for Southern Vancouver Island on the day of the burn;
- Open Burning will be permitted for the 2019/ 2020 on Fridays regardless of the Venting Index
To improve air quality in Central Saanich the regulations for Open Burning have been updated.
Once you have a permit, please check the Provincial Ventilation Index before burning. You are only able to burn when it is forecast to be "good" or "fair" (as of 4 pm) on the day you want to burn--even if you're burning that morning.
On days when the index is poor, smoke does not disperse well into the atmosphere causing poor air quality.
Open burning is permitted on any day when the Venting Index forecast is "Good" or "Fair." However, in an effort to phase in these changes, for the 2019/2020 burning season, Domestic Yard Waste and Agricultural Purpose Fires will continue to be allowed on Friday's regardless of the Venting Index. Permits can be picked up at Fire Station #1 (1512 Keaing Cross Road).
- Domestic Yard Waste Fires maximum pile size is one meter high by one meter wide; with branches or other pieces of vegetative debris, with or without leaves, that are no greater than 3 cm (1") in diameter. Domestic Yard Waste piles must be situated at least 7.5 meters (25ft) away from any building, structure, fence, property line, trees, bushes or other combustible materials.
- Agricultural Purpose Fires are open fires that take place on lands located within the Agricultural Land Reserve, or lands that are deemed to be Farm status by BC Assessment. The open burning is conducted using one to two piles, with each pile being a maximum size of two meters high by three meters wide where branches or other pieces of vegetative debris, with or without leaves, are no greater than 10 cm (4") in diameter. Agricultural Purpose fires must be situated at least 15 meters (50ft) away from any building, structure, fence, property line, trees, bushes or other combustible materials.Please check back to this page as there will be an agricultural burning fact sheet coming from the Province in early October.
- Category 3 Fires (As defined by the Wildfire Act) are open fires with three or more piles with each pile being a maximum size of two meters high by three meters wide, or a single pile that is larger than two meters high by three meters wide, or any open fire where the burning of branches or other pieces of vegetative debris with or without leaves that are greater than 10 cm (4"), Permit holders must follow the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations that was revised on September 15, 2019. Category 3 fires are regulated by the province with no exemptions.
Prohibited Materials under the
Demolition / Construction waste
Fuel and lubricant containers