Current Open Burning Requirements

Open Burning Ban change as of Thursday, July 6 - No Recreational Fires

As per section 10(2) of the Fire Protection Bylaw 2008, BYLAW NO. 3340, an Open Burning Ban will be imposed for the entire Municipality of North Cowichan, effective at noon on July 6, 2017 until October 21, 2017 or further notice. This ban includes all burning done or a fire set in accordance with federal or provincial regulations. This ban also includes the following:

  • Campfires 
  • Category 2 open fires
  • Category 3 open fires
  • Fires burning woody debris in outdoor stoves
  • The use of tiki torches, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • The use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for rifle target practice)

This prohibition does not apply to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimeters.

For further information, contact:

Mike Dunn

Local Assistant to the Fire Commissioner


Rachel Hastings

Bylaw Compliance Officer



Please review North Cowichan's Fire Protection Bylaw prior to any open burning activities or visit BC Air Quality to learn more about provincial initiatives and reporting, in addition to any current advisories in effect.

A $500 Municipal fine may be issued in ALL areas (Agricultural Land Reserve included) if the following conditions are not met:

  • UNDER North Cowichan's Fire Protection Bylaw, backyard burning is ONLY permitted between March 15 to April 15 and October 15 to November 15.
  • ONLY burn when the BC Air Quality Venting Index is "GOOD".  (scroll down to view "SRN VANCOUVER ISLAND"), or call 1-888-281-2992 for a recorded message of the daily Venting Index for Southern Vancouver Island.
  • Fires may only burn during daylight hours. 
  • NO person may burn any chemical or material including oil, tar, rubber, plastic, or fertilizer, in an outdoor fire that:  produces heavy smoke, interferes with the normal use or enjoyment of life or property, endangers health, safety or welfare of persons or animals, damages plants or property, or contains any construction or demolition waste, treated wood, grass, leaves or materials referred to as garbage or refuse.
  • ONLY untreated natural wood and brush may be burned.
  • FIRES must be a minimum of 10 metres (33 feet) from all property lines and 4 metres (13 feet) from any structures.
  • ONLY one hand-piled fire per property permitted at a time, no more than 2 metres (6.5 feet) in diameter and 2 metres (6.5 feet) in height.
  • BURNED material must be from the land where the fire is located.
  • PROPER fire-fighting equipment including shovel, rake and garden hose connected to a water source, must be on hand and readily available, in case of fire escape.

*** Please be aware of the Fire Protection Bylaw or contact the Bylaw Compliance Officer prior to burning.  A person who contravenes the Ministry of Environment's Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation is liable on conviction of a Provincial fine of up to $200,000 and a Municipal fine of $500.