The City of Chilliwack has reversed course on a plan to cancel the fall outdoor burning season, opting instead for a shortened version.
Council voted 4-2 on Sept. 15 to pull the plug on the outdoor burning season, which would have run Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.
Councillors Harv Westeringh and Chris Kloot provided the two votes against cancellation.
At the Oct. 6 council meeting, Kloot returned with a motion for a shortened burning season, which was passed by a 4-2 margin.
Burning with a valid permit will now be allowed between Oct. 20 and Nov. 20, but only on days with a ‘good’ ventilation index.
In past years, burning has been permitted on days with either a ‘fair’ or ‘good’ ventilation index.
Removing the ‘fair’ part of the equation aligns with updated provincial regulations and means burning will only be permitted when the air-shed is most capable of dispersing the smoke.
Open air burning is only permitted in agricultural and rural zones during approved burning seasons. Permits will be available Oct. 20 by going online to chilliwack.com/burning.
“Chilliwack is a geographically large community that rural and urban residents call home,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “As city council, it is important for us to balance the needs of all of our residents. In light of COVID-19, it is still my hope that anyone who is able to compost or chip their material will do so.”
For the same cost as a $25 burning permit, residents can drop off 880 pounds of yard waste at the Parr Road Green Depot. Residents on the city’s Curbside Collection Program may also place up to 10 additional bundles of branches or paper bags of yard waste out with their green carts each week.
Fines of $250 or more can be issued through the fire regulation bylaw for outdoor burning, and the public can confirm with the Bylaw Department at 604.793.2908 the areas in question.
Burning restrictions do not apply to gas fuelled appliances such as BBQs, or outdoor gas heaters. Certified gas-fired outdoor fireplace appliances are permitted as long as all clearances are being met.
The public is asked to contact Chilliwack Fire Department at 604-792-8713 to report burning violations.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.