Important Notice: Please Cease Open Air Burning in Central Saanich
In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and respiratory illness, the Province of BC has banned open air burning as of March 26, 2020.
For Central Saanich this means that all Category 3 and Agricultural Purpose Permits are now suspended until April 15, 2020. The District asks that all Recreational Fire and Domestic Purpose holders also voluntarily stop all open air burning (also known as backyard burning) until April 15, 2020.
From The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy:
As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in BC continue to increase, the BC Centre for Disease Control recommends implementing measures that help to reduce excess air pollution in populated airsheds across the province. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function.
This means that:
• Deterioration in air quality may lead to more COVID-19 infections overall,
• Deterioration in air quality may lead to more cases of severe COVID-19 infections, adding further demand to our healthcare system, and
• Improvements to air quality may help to protect the whole population from COVID-19 and its potentially severe effects.
Evidence suggests that air pollution from combustion sources is most strongly associated with increased risk of viral infection, particularly vehicle emissions and biomass burning. At this time the BC Centre for Disease Control strongly recommends that open burning of biomass fuels be restricted in areas with high or moderate risk of population exposure to the resulting smoke. While the focus should remain on social distancing to prevent the spread of infection and reduce the number of cases, keeping our air as clean as possible will also help to protect the population during this difficult period.