It’s backyard burning season in North Cowichan. (Black Press file)

Do you know the rules for backyard burning in North Cowichan?

“Know the rules and check before you burn!” warns the municipality’s website.

It’s the time of year that has some reaching for their lighters and others heading indoors to avoid the smoke.

It’s just over one month into open burning season and backyard burning continues to be permitted within North Cowichan’s municipal boundaries until Nov. 30, albeit with a lot of caveats.

“Know the rules and check before you burn!” warns the municipality’s website.

The rules are different for properties inside the urban containment boundary (more populated) than ones outside (more rural).

Not sure where you are? North Cowichan has a link to a map that’ll help you figure it out.

Within the urban containment boundary, you can burn by securing a free municipal permit, but your property must be two acres or bigger.

Permits are not required outside the urban containment boundary.

Regardless of your physical location, backyard burning can only occur when the venting index is good.

Not sure what that’s all about? 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.

Category 3 fires — that is, fires larger than two metres by three metres or multiple piles burning at the same time — are not permitted within the urban containment boundary. Outside that boundary, air curtain burners need to be used.

Have a problem with a burner or a question related to burning?

Call North Cowichan’s bylaw department at 250-746-3108 or email

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