Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation Review

About the Review

The Province is reviewing and revising the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (OBSCR) under the Environmental Management Act (EMA). The review process supports the Province's commitment to continuous improvement and the regular review and revision of provisions as appropriate.

The OBSCR governs the burning of vegetative material associated with a range of activities, including land clearing and forestry. It sets out the conditions under which the open burning of vegetative debris can be authorized. This regulation has not been substantively revised since enacted in 1993. A revised regulation will support the Province's objectives of reducing impacts to human health, enabling and encouraging compliance, and minimizing undue costs to industry. 

More information about the OBSCR.

Proposed Changes

Proposed changes to the regulation will establish three smoke sensitivity zones covering the entire province. This change would replace the two category system used in the current regulation.

To help the public and stakeholders understand the implications of the proposed revisions, the ministry has prepared draft maps of the proposed smoke sensitivity zones. These maps are available to view before legislative review of the amendments. The provincial overview map shows a province-wide view of the proposed smoke sensitivity zones. Four additional maps at a larger scale show the zones in more detail. KMZ files—which can be viewed in Google Earth or other mapping software—show the boundaries of the zones.

Draft Maps

  1. Overview Map of Draft Proposed Sensitivity Zones (PDF)
  2. Map of Draft Proposed Sensitivity Zones in Southwest B.C. (PDF, 1.8 MB)
  3. Map of Draft Proposed Sensitivity Zones in Southeast B.C. (PDF, 1.5 MB)
  4. Map of Draft Proposed Sensitivity Zones in Northwest B.C. (PDF)
  5. Map of Draft Proposed Sensitivity Zones in Northeast B.C. (PDF)
  6. For use with Google Earth (or other mapping software). These links will download the files to your computer:

Public Consultation Process & Timeline

The Province previously consulted on the OBSCR with an intentions paper released in 2008.

A second Intentions paper was released in 2010.

An information update was released in 2011.

Based on feedback from the two policy intentions papers and the results from industry and other stakeholder consultation, changes to the proposed policy direction were made. An information update describing the proposed approach was posted in spring 2016.

The latest version of proposed changes to OBSCR was shared with stakeholders via a series of webinars in May 2018. Through these webinars the ministry received feedback on the proposed changes.

Following careful review of all comments, suggestions and submissions received through the consultation process, government staff will complete legal drafting of the amendment for legislative review and implementation. For more information on the consultation process and the development of policy intentions papers see: