Effective April 15, 2020: Until further notice, the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has prohibited all open burning in High Sensitivity Areas, which includes the Central Okanagan. This extends a previous open burning restriction implemented in March. This action in collaboration with public health officials to help reduce excess air pollution in populated airsheds across the province. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function. Learn more.
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 ends early to support COVID-19 response
According to Regional District of the Central Okanagan's Bylaw 773 and Bylaw 1066, open burning of agricultural wood waste requires a valid permit and is typically 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 alternatives, please visit the Regional District of the Central Okanagan website.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
Qualifying participants must have a property one hectare or greater in size with a small volume of wood for fuel reduction and/or agricultural activities that can’t be served through the regular Agricultural Chipping Program. The Regional Air Quality Program provides up to 80% of the cost of renting mow/chip equipment or services up to a $500 maximum. Visit the Mow-Chip Rent-it program page for more information. Depending on your needs, you can hire a contractor or rent your own machine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 for more information.
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 email@example.com. 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.