Open Burning & Campfires

When there is no open burning ban in place, backyard burning is only permitted in limited circumstances.

Use this mapping tool to find out if your property is inside or outside the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB).

  • If your property is inside the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB):
    • Property must be 2 acres or greater
    • Owner/tenant must obtain a municipal permit (no fee)
    • Only between March 15 - April 15 AND September 15 - November 30
    • Only when the venting index is good (see below)

       
  • If your property is outside the Urban Containment Boundary:
    • Only between March 15 - April 15 AND September 15 - November 30
    • Only when the venting index is good (see below)

       
  • Category 3 burns (fires larger than 2m high by 3m wide or where multiple piles are being burned concurrently, typically to burn debris from land clearing or development):
    • Not allowed within the urban containment boundary
    • Allowed outside the urban containment boundary only in conjunction with an air curtain burner.

Venting Index 

You can also visit the Provincial venting index webpage and scroll down to "SRN VANCOUVER ISLAND" OR call 1-888-281-2992 for a recorded message of the daily venting index for Southern Vancouver Island.

BC Assessment Class 9 farms

Burning completed under “normal farm practices” as defined in the Farm Practices Protection (Right To Farm) Act is exempt from the requirements of North Cowichan's Fire Protection Bylaw (PDF), provided that the land on which the burning takes place is appropriately zoned to allow farming as a land use and is part of a legitimate farm business.

Learn before you burn

Review North Cowichan's Fire Protection Bylaw (PDF) and the Ministry of Environment's Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation prior to any open burning. A person who contravenes the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation can receive a Provincial fine of up to $200,000, as well as Municipal fines.

Report a burning violation

Suspected burning violations can be reported to North Cowichan's bylaw department.