Open Burning Practices

Many smoke-related problems result from poor open burning practices. Emissions containing particulate matter from open burning can limit visibility, release harmful gases, and aggravate respiratory conditions in susceptible individuals.

Practices to reduce pollution

Pollution can be reduced by implementing the following practices to reduce smoke production:

  • Build good piles with clean, dry debris (do not include stumps, rocks, or soil) to reduce smouldering stage:

    • Avoid overloading of fires that may restrict combustion, and cause smouldering and increased smoke

    • Pile to approximate a haystack shape where the material does not splay out at the sides, and the dimensions approximate a base-to-height ratio of 1:1

  • Minimize the smouldering stage, as this stage can contribute more than half of the total particulate emitted during the burn

  • Control the fuel properties:

    • Avoid compaction of the material
    • Allow fuel to dry before burning to reduce the moisture content of the pile
  • Use forced air technology (i.e. air curtain incinerators, or other appropriate air-assist technology) as these can reduce emissions by up to 90%

  • Avoid burning during periods of calm stable air or when the venting index is poor, when smoke is unlikely to disperse properly. Make sure the ventilation index for your region is good

  • Any fire attendee should have equipment and water on hand appropriate to control for the size and type of fire. Follow the information in the Wildfire Act and Regulation

NOTE:  Ensure that there are no contaminants in the fire, such as tires, plastic or other prohibited materials.

Materials prohibited from being burnt under the
Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation

Tires Treated lumber
Plastics Railway ties
Drywall Manure
Demolition waste Rubber
Domestic waste Asphalt
Paint Asphalt products
Hazardous waste Fuel and lubricant containers
Tar paper Biomedical waste