Village of Keremeos Burning Regulations
• Open burning of garden refuse and agricultural waste is permitted in the Village of Keremeos between October 16 to April 14. Only wood and plant matter may be burned. Care should be taken when open burning is undertaken, fires must not be left unattended at any time; water, soil or sand must be on hand to extinguish the fire; and flammable materials must be removed from a five foot strip surrounding the fire.
• Due to the semi - desert climate in this area, people are encouraged to burn only within the designated opened burning time period. However, if burning is required outside of the open burning time period, a Burning Permit can be applied for from the Ministry of Forests.
• Burning regulations outside the Village of Keremeos
The Information below was copied from the Forest Services brochure called Open Fires in BC
These are small fires for burning waste material not exceeding two meters height and three meters in diameter. The accumulations are normally hand piled. This type of burning is referred to as Category 1.
Backyard burning also include burning grass or stubble where the area is less than 0.2 hectares in size (2000 square meters). Before the area is ignited, a fuel break must be established around the area to prevent the fire from spreading. This is a Category 2 fire.
All campfires and backyard burning must be extinguished before a person leaves the area of the fire.
Large Open Fires
• Large open fires are typically machine piles or windrows created to dispose of waste material. The requirements for safe burning vary based on the type of material to be burned, the distance from combustible material and the time of year the burn is scheduled. The categories of industrial/agricultural burning are:
• Category 3 Piles or windrows that are more than 50 meters from combustible material. These are fires in larger cleared areas. Generally burning is a result of agricultural land clearing or burning for industrial or commercial purposes.
• Category 4 Windrows of small woody material mechanically created for agricultural purposes that are not more than 2 meters in width and 1 meter in height are referred to as root raked windrows.
• Category 5 Piles or windrows of waste material are less than 50 meters from combustible material. Usually these types of large burns are for land-clearing for industrial or commercial purposes.
• Category 6 Burning areas of grass or stubble greater than .2 hectares. These areas are usually large fields or grass areas that do not contain woody material such as trees, brush or slash.
Open Fires for Resource Management Purposes
Burning that takes place for resource management activities such as forest health, wildlife habitat, hazard abatement or silvicultural prescriptions fall into this group. This group is divided into two categories.
Category 7 Refers to burning accumulations of waste material which typically include landing debris from harvesting or accumulations from other resource activities.
Category 8 Broadcast or prescribed burn requirements for safe burning are contained in this category. A burn plan is required for these types of fires
Although conditions for safe burning are outlined in the regulation, there are times when fires should not be lit. Fires should not be ignited or allowed to continue to burn when:
- the wind is strong enough to cause sparks to be carried to other
combustible materials; or
- when a notice banning or restricting the use of fires is in effect.
Waste material - means material consisting of paper, cardboard, lumber, brush, slash, stumps, trees or other woody debris
During periods when forests fuels are dry (spring, summer or fall) and the danger of forest fires increases, the Forest Service may need to impose bans or restrictions on the use of fires. This action may be necessary to limit the risk of a forest fire starting or to address public health or safety concerns.
Forest fire detection, fire suppression and fire cause determination can be hampered if the locations of regulated fires are not know. You are required to call toll free: 1-888-797-1717 to obtain a reference number if your burning falls into the industrial/agricultural or resource management groups (categories 3-7).
Before burning please consult the burning index for your area.
1)Daily venting index:
Phone Number toll free: 1-888-281-2992 press 3
Or call Penticton Fire Dept. and listen to the recording 250-490-2300
Morning Venting is rarely good - Recommended start burn time: 12:00 noon in the fall – 10am in the spring.
Morning, Afternoon and Next Day Venting Index Smoke Control Forecast is available at: http://www.weatheroffice.pyr.ec.gc.ca/wxhealth/smoke/forecast_e.html?smoke=YLW
2)To report burning of prohibited materials and to report burning on poor venting days,
Please call the Provincial Toll free RAPP hotline: 1-877-952-7277
Your name and number will not be given to the offenders – only the Conservation Officers so that they may phone you if they need more details.
Thank you for your help on this matter,
Janice Johnson 250-490-4212 RDOS Air Quality
An example of an illegally lit burn pile affecting air quality in Keremeos. The burn pile was lit when the venting index was only 10.
Valleys are prone to frequent temperature inversions which can result in smoke pollutants collecting in valley bottoms.
Checking the venting index (1-888-281-2992) to see if burning is permitted, common sense and burning in the afternoons helps prevent pollution. Some types of burning, such as large burn piles, require a Burn Permit.