October 28 start to Central Okanagan open burning

Open burning permits are now available for eligible Central Okanagan property owners from their local fire service.*

Central Okanagan burning permits will take effect at 12 p.m. Friday, October 28 allowing permit holders to burn outdoors on days when both air quality and venting indices are good.

Normally, permits run from October 1 through April 30 in the Central Okanagan.  This year, the start was delayed across the region because of a high fire danger rating.

Before lighting any fire, Central Okanagan permit holders must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN) to determine if open burning is allowed on a particular day.  As well, each morning an online Outdoor Burning indicator is updated at rdco.com/airquality.  Those with a permit must also meet the Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation.

Property owners within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral area fire protection areas (Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside, Wilson’s Landing) that are allowed to burn outdoors may call the Regional District at 250-469-6223 to obtain a permit.  Residents with questions about the burn permit process in the Central Okanagan should contact their local fire service.

There are several alternatives to open burning such as chipping, grinding or if applicable, yard waste disposal at the City of Kelowna Glenmore landfill or the RDCO Westside Residential Waste and Recycling Centre off Asquith Road in West Kelowna (fees apply at both locations). North Westside and Traders Cove area residents may dispose of a maximum 10 bags of yard waste per visit at their transfer stations.  The RDCO Air Quality program has more information available on other disposal options including a new Mow/Chip/Rent/Buy incentive of up to $3,000 for qualifying participants.

A reminder for anyone receiving an open burning permit that under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.  Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.

Violators of local bylaws could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire by their fire service.  Residents may report anyone violating local bylaws and burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.  Potential violations of the Provincial regulation should be reported to the BC RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).

Under Regional District and local fire bylaws permitted open burning must be complete on April 30 although the date may be adjusted depending on the local fire hazard.

Central Okanagan residents should check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions on campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood burning devices.  Campfires and other outdoor wood burning appliances are not allowed in the City of Kelowna.

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