Know the Rules

Smoke Control Bylaw No. 3716

The Smoke Control Regulation Bylaw regulates open burning in Electoral Areas A, B, C, D, E and G (with the exception of Gulf Islands). Backyard burning is completely banned in the local municipalities of City of Duncan, Town of Ladysmith and Town of Lake Cowichan. Similar to the CVRD, the Municipality of North Cowichan has a Fire Protection Bylaw restricting open burning. 

  • Open burning is only permitted from March 15 to April 15, and from October 15 to November 15
  • Only untreated natural wood, prunings, or branches can be burned (NO leaves, grass clippings, garbage or construction waste)
  • Open burning must be located at least 10 metres from all property lines
  • Open burning is limited to one pile two metres in diameter and two metres in height
  • Check the BC Venting Index for Southern Vancouver Island before you burn (or call 1.888.281.2992) 
  • Open burning is only allowed when the BC Southern Vancouver Island Venting Index is rated GOOD
  • All burning must occur between 7:00 a.m. and sunset of the same day

There are many alternatives to open burning

Landclearing Management Regulation Bylaw No. 2020

Open burning of landclearing debris and stumps is banned in the Cowichan Region under the Landclearing Management Regulation Bylaw. The minimum fine is $1,000 for illegal burning.

Landclearing of debris and stumps can only be burned with the use of an air curtain or trench burner, and according to the BC Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. All landclearing burns must be registered with the CVRD using the Open Burn Registration Form prior to ignition.

Provincial Open Burning Regulations

Burning of construction debris and other prohibited materials are banned under the Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. A person who burns prohibited materials can face fines up to $200,000. Burning of waste generated from an industry, trade or business is prohibited at all times by the Environmental Management Act.