Private land managers are required, under provincial law, to dispose of woody debris after harvesting. Alternatives to open burning are always explored and implemented when possible.

These methods include:

  • Wildlife Piles – approx. 3mx3m and used as shelter by wildlife
  • Debris Dispersal – provided it does not create a fire risk or compromise future access
  • Log Salvage – recovery of logs after primary harvesting for commercial use
    • Public/Recreational Firewood
    • Cedar Shake/Shingles
  • Wood chips for local pulp/pellet mills
  • Ground fibre used for landscaping, soil enhancement or hog fuel(unprocessed mix of coarse chips/wood fibre)

When these alternatives have been exhausted, open burning of woody debris must occur in order to dispose of this potential fire hazard.

Private land managers take the act of burning very seriously and have been collaborating with the Coastal Fire Centre, municipal and provincial governments and each other in the development of a regional burning plan. This plan facilitates communication between all partners to ensure best practices are followed and impact to the public is minimal.

FAQs

Q: Am I going to see these fires?
A: Most burning occurs far from local communities. Smoke that is seen should be tight, straight columns directly rising in the sky.

Q: When does burning occur?
A: Burning occurs in the fall or early spring on the Coast in a short window of time that generally lasts 3 weeks.

Q: Won’t the wind blow the smoke into our community?
A: Private Land Managers use a venting index provided by both the government weather centre and local weather stations to ensure wind conditions are optimal. If there is a possibility of poor venting no burning will occur.

Q: What do I do if I see smoke?
A: Report the smoke to your local fire department or Coastal Fire Centre at 1.800.663.5555 or *5555 on your cell.

Q: Where can I find out more about the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation?
A: The Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation is administered by the Ministry of Environment, and can be viewed at www.bcairquality.ca under their A-Z index. This website also has the Venting Index to assist with planning open burning, as well as smoke forecasts and alternatives to burning.

Q: Can I burn too?
A: Open burning is regulated at the municipal level. Contact your regional representatives for more information. Permits are issued to private land managers for burning from the Coastal Fire Centre and can be contacted at 1.800.663.5555 or *5555 on your cell.

Please call TimberWest at 250-716-3752 if you have further questions.

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