Outdoor burning

Residential fire pits and outdoor wood burning appliances

Within Kelowna, outdoor wood burning appliances are not permitted; this includes fire pits, wood stoves, chimneys and other appliances, unless conditions are met as outlined in Fire and Life Safety  Bylaw No. 10760 . The bylaw allows us to impose requirements in relation to municipal services, firecrackers, fireworks and to the health, safety or protection of persons or property. 

Open burning season

According to  Regional District of the Central Okanagan's Bylaw 773  and Bylaw 1066, open burning requires a valid permit and is only allowed between Oct. 1 and April 30. Further restrictions may be put in place due to fire hazards or other local conditions.

For more information on open burning and burning conditions, please visit the Regional District of the Central Okanagan website.

Permit information

Kelowna residents that have properties greater than 1 hectare (2.47 acres) can apply for a permit through the Kelowna Fire Department  at 250-469-8801. Under the updated Fire & Life Safety Bylaw, there is a $20 fee to help cover administration and inspection costs.

The fire department may exempt a permit holder from the venting and air quality regulations when burning is required specifically for a fuel modification project to dispose of fire hazard materials and protect public safety by reducing the potential for interface wildfires. Permit holders may be subject to other conditions from the fire department issuing the permit. 

After you have received a permit, you must ensure that burning is allowed on the day you want to burn. Call the Regional Open Burning Information Line (toll free) at 1-855-262-2876 to check the Venting Index and Air Quality on the day you plan to burn. Listen to the message to confirm that burning is permitted on that day. 

Anyone burning without a Burning Permit or breaking the rules of their permit may be subject to fines up to $2000.

Only "Permitted burning materials" are allowed to be burned: that means untreated wood, prunings, branches, tree trunks, or other vegetation that have been allowed to DRY for at least two years.

It is illegal to burn prohibited materials, including, but not limited to: 

  • Garbage  
  • Compostable materials (e.g. leaves, grass clippings)
  • Vegetative debris resulting from land cleared for a different use (e.g. farmland to residential development)

Open burning complaints

If you suspect that someone is burning without a permit or the specific requirements are not met, call the Fire Dispatch at 250-469-8577.

Alternatives to open burning

Farmers, orchardists and residents are encouraged to take advantage of other options such as chipping, flail mowing, or air curtain burning to help reduce smoke pollution.

Free Agricultural Chipping Program

The Regional Air Quality Program offers a free service for Central Okanagan orchardists who want to chip wood waste material from an orchard removal. This type of debris typically includes stumps and large branches. Contact the Regional Air Quality Coordinator at 250-469-8408 or visit the program page for more information. 

Wood Chipping

Grinding or chipping wood waste produces valuable woodchips that can be used as a ground cover or mulch. Depending on your needs, you can hire a contractor or rent your own machine. Search online under wood chipping, tree service, machine rentals, etc. to find a company that suits your needs.

Free Year-round Yard Waste Drop Off at Landfills

Drop off yard waste and prunings (under 8”/20cm diameter) weighing less than 250 kg anytime for free at the Glenmore Landfill and Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre. Charges apply for heavier loads and woody debris over 8”/20cm diameter. Please visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle, email recycle@cord.bc.ca or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 for more information. 

Curb side Yard Waste Pickup

Bi-weekly curb side collection runs March through November. Consult your Living Greener Calendar or contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250 469-6250 or recycle@cord.bc.ca. Air Curtain Burning uses forced air to burn wood faster and with less smoke. Contact your local Fire Department to learn more about forced air incineration options for burning agricultural or land clearing wood waste.