How to Obtain a Burning Permit

A burning permit is required for any property located within the urban containment boundary (UCB) that is 2 acres or greater. Backyard burning is not permitted on any property within the UCB that is less than 2 acres. 

Not sure if your property is inside or outside the UCB? Enter your address in the search bar at the top of this mapping tool to find out.

  • If your property is within the UCB and greater than 2 acres, you need a burning permit to burn. How to obtain a burning permit?
      • By email: 
      • By mail: Development Services Department, 7030 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan, BC, V9L 6A1
      • In person: Development Services Department, 7030 Trans Canada Highway
    • North Cowichan will typically be able to confirm eligibility and issue a permit on same day 
  • Do I need a new permit each time I burn?
    • A burning permit allows you to burn multiple times within a single burn window (March 15 - April 15 OR September 15 - November 30), as long as burning requirements are met (e.g. venting index is "good," etc)
    • You need a new permit for each spring and fall burning window
  • Why bother obtaining a permit to burn?
    • The Fire Protection Bylaw requires anyone burning within the urban containment boundary to have a permit to do so. 
    • The permit system allows North Cowichan to confirm that burning requirements are being followed and to be informed of what burning may be taking place and when. The permitting system helps North Cowichan  to respond knowledgeably to complaints that may be recieved and avoid unnecessary call-outs to Fire Departments.
    • Any individual found to be burning outside of the requirements (e.g. without a permit, in an area where open burning is not allowed, when the venting index is not good) is liable for a fine under the Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (up to $200,000) and North Cowichan's Fire Protection Bylaw (initial fine amount $250, second offence $500, third offence $1000).