|Where & When Can Open Burning Occur?||Frequently Asked Questions|
|How to Obtain an Open Burning Permit||How to Report a Burning Violation|
In general, North Cowichans air quality meets provincial guidlelines. Occasionally there are exceedances of the guidelines for particulate matter from wildfire events in the summer and open burning and woodstove use during the fall and winter. Particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) has human health, environmental and economic impacts. Following best practices for open burning will lessen the impact on our air quality:
- Only burn on good venting days (venting index can be found here)
- Ensure piles contain only clean, dry debris to reduce smouldering
- Avoid compacting materials
- Build smaller piles, base-to-height ratio of 1:1
- Do not burn stumps, rocks, soil or materials prohibited under the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation
For information on open burning rules and regulations, please visit bylaw’s webpage.
Air quality emissions inventories and studies completed on behalf of the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and Cowichan Valley Regional District show that PM2.5 is the main contaminant of concern for the Cowichan Region. Table 1 and Figures 1 and 2 below display PM2.5 data in comparison to the provincial air quality objectives.
Table 1 – Provincial air quality objectives for PM2.5.
Air Quality Objectives
Provincial Air Quality Objective
Figure 1 – A summary of the PM2.5 data from each of the air quality monitoring stations within or adjacent to North Cowichan municipal boundaries.
Figure 2 - Exceedances of Daily PM2.5 Air Quality Objective
Note: Note:The substantial increase in wildfire smoke in recent years has increased the overall levels of PM2.5 in the Cowichan Valley. Prior to 2017, these wildfires did not have a substantial effect on local air quality. Data from the Crofton and Quamichan monitoring stations prior to 2014 was witheld from this chart as the equipment at these stations was upgraded with more accurate monitoring equipment in 2014.
Relevant Information and Studies
- Emissions Inventory Compilation and Forecast for the CVRD (Levelton Consultants).pdf
- CVRD Airshed Protection Strategy.pdf
Last Edited: July 19, 2022.