Lakes District News file photo The Environmental Management Act requires individuals to check local venting conditions prior to lighting a fire, ensuring that conditions are favourable for burning.

Burning outdoors? Check ventilation

Burning is only permitted when venting conditions are ideal

The burning of woody debris outdoors in B.C. is only permitted when the venting conditions are sufficient to disperse smoke.

Before debris can be ignited, the ventilation index must be predicted to be “good” (55-100), as well as “fair” or “good” (34-100) the following day.

Local venting conditions can be obtained by calling 1-888-281-2992 or visiting http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/

As of Nov. 15-16, 2017, the venting index for Burns Lake was “poor.” Therefore slash burning was not permitted on those days.

Regulations related to slash burning are regularly enforced by the Ministry of Forests’ compliance and enforcement branch. According to the ministry, it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the burn is done in a safe and responsible manner in accordance with open burning regulations.

The fine for lighting, fuelling or using fire against regulations is $1150. If a fire escapes, the person responsible may be fined up to $100,000 and may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

Anyone planning to burn a pile larger than two metres high by three metres wide or conduct a grass burn larger than 0.2 hectares (category three fires) must also obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1-888-797-1717.

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