Tougher burning rules considered by Abbotsford council

Staff suggest limiting open air burning to just two months

New, stricter rules may be on the way for open-air burning in Abbotsford.

The province has introduced new smoke-control rules that limit when and where people can burn material. Those rules designate Abbotsford as a “high” smoke sensitivity zone with the strictest rules.

But the city is considering tightening regulations even further.

The province encourages municipalities to set their own, more-stringent rules, and council was presented with options to further restrict burning on Monday.

Staff suggested limiting burning to just four months of the year. Currently, burning can take place from October, through the winter, to June. Burning would also be restricted when the provincial venting index is “good.”

Exceptions could be made for diseased vegetation and weed control, designated campfires, and religious and First Nations ceremonies.

Staff say that, eventually, a total ban on burning is in the “best interest” of the community, according to a report presented to council on Monday.

The city would also look to create a green waste system to allow rural property owners to dispose of their debris without burning.

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