Burning permitted Oct. 15

North Cowichan’s burning window opens on Thursday, Oct. 15.

While backyard burning is banned completely in the City of Duncan, the Town of Ladysmith and the Town of Lake Cowichan, there’s still a short window of availability for residents within the Municipality of North Cowichan.

North Cowichan’s burning window opens on Thursday, Oct. 15 but officials are encouraging residents to use other disposal methods if at all possible.

“Don’t burn if you don’t have to,” said a press release issued by the municipality. “As an alternative to burning, the municipality encourages you to compost at home or take your yard waste (year-round, free of charge) to one of the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s solid waste management and recycling facilities.”

To learn which facility best suits your disposal needs visit www.cvrd.bc.ca or phone the CVRD’s recycling hotline at 250-746-2540.

The burning window closes Nov. 15.

Residents found breaching North Cowichan’s fire protection bylaw could face $500 fines, even if the burning occurs within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Residents may only burn during daylight hours when the B.C. Air Quality Venting Index is listed as “good”. Find the Venting Index on-line at www.bcairquality.ca or call 1-888-281-2992 for a recorded message of the daily Venting Index for Southern Vancouver Island.

Only natural wood and brush may be burned and must originate from the land where the fire is located. That means there’s to be no burning of any chemical or material including oil, tar, rubber, plastic or garbage, construction or demolition waste, or treated wood, grass or leaves.

“No fire may be burned that produces heavy smoke or fumes, interferes with the normal use or enjoyment of life or property, endangers the health, safety, or welfare of persons or animals,” said the release.

Fires must be a minimum of 33 feet (10 metres) from all property lines and 13 feet (four metres) from any structures.

Only one hand-piled fire per property is allowed at a time and it can’t exceed 6.5 feet (two metres) in height.

Proper firefighting equipment must be on hand and readily available should a situation arise. Supplies required include: a shovel, a rake and a garden hose connected to a water source.

Visit www.northcowichan.ca/airquality for further information or contact the bylaw compliance officer at 250-746-3100 prior to burning.

Residents of Electoral Areas A, B, C, D, and E have the same window as North Cowichan though the rules vary slightly. Visit www.cvrd.bc.ca and search for backyard burning to ensure compliance before you strike a match.