The new open fire bylaw allows campfires inside village boundaries as usual. (Lakes District News file photo)

Village passes new open fires bylaw

The Burns Lake village council has passed a new bylaw on open fires inside village boundaries.

The Open Air Burning Bylaw No.1001 was adopted by council at its June 11 meeting and states that all fires in the village boundaries must comply with the provincial Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation.

The new regulations replace the old bylaw written in 2010 and are aimed at streamlining the process for campfires in the village, as Fire Chief Robert Krause told Lakes District News.

Campfires lit in designated campgrounds are permitted as usual but are subject to bans by the BC Wildfire Service or by the Fire Chief.

The normal use of barbecues for cooking food are also allowed as usual.

For open fires, the bylaw permits only burning brush material such as tree branches, leaves, bush trimmings and raked grass.

While substances such as tires, treated wood, plastics, domestic waste and others cannot be burned, any material that produces heavy or toxic smoke or ash that endangers human or animal health is also not allowed.

Fires cannot be lit within 3 metres of any hedges, fences or combustile structures except when using an approved incinerator consisting of a noncombustible container put on a noncombustible base and fitted with a screen or device to contain sparks and flying debris.

The fires cannot burn higher than 2 metres in height and 3 metres in diameter; be within 500 metres of a hospital, school in session or care facility; be within 5 metres of any public roadway or within 10 metres of any power poles or lines.

Open fires are prohibited on days when the Environment Canada air ventilation index is listed as “poor”, during periods of high winds and between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

All open burning within village boundaries is prohibited when the BC Wildfire Service sets Category 2 or 3 open burning bans, or when ordered by the Fire Chief or Deputy Chief.

READ MORE: Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

If the Fire Chief finds any part of the bylaw is being violated or followed improperly he can direct the owner or occupier of a property where a fire hazard is present to correct the problem and comply with the bylaw.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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