Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation

What Can't Be Burned

To prevent the release of dangerous toxins, the following materials must not be burned:

  • Construction waste 
  • Domestic waste
  • Fuel and lubricant containers
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Hazardous waste
  • Paint and varnish
  • Plastics
  • Treated or painted wood products

For a complete list of material that is illegal to burn see the Burning Requirements Factsheet (PDF).

When Can Burning Take Place

Burning may only take place when the ventilation requirements of the regulation are met. The following burning requirements apply within most B.C. municipalities:

  • The smoke-release period for each parcel of land must not be greater than 72 consecutive hours
  • Open burning of debris may proceed if no open burning has occurred on the parcel of land at any time during the 15 days preceding the open burning
  • Smoke may be released during open burning on a parcel of land on no more than four separate occasions during a calendar year

Outside of municipal boundaries the smoke release period of fires may be up to 96 hours.

Where Burning Can Take Place

The following restrictions apply to the location for open burning:

  • The open burning of debris must be carried out at least:
    • (a) 100 metres from neighbouring residences and businesses, and
    • (b) 500 metres from schools in session, hospitals and facilities used for continuing care as defined under the Continuing Care Act.
  • Care must be taken so smoke from open burning does not pose a hazard at airports or on provincial highways by significantly reducing visibility
  • Open burning of debris must not be initiated if the local air flow will cause the smoke to have a negative impact on a nearby population or cause pollution
  • Unless otherwise exempted for smoke management purposes by a burning permit or in a burn plan approved by the Ministry of Forests, open burning of debris must not be initiated if atmospheric mixing at the site where the debris is to be burned is insufficient to provide rapid dispersion of the smoke