Backyard burning season in the District of Sooke begins at dawn on Oct. 1 and “not a moment sooner,” according to a Facebook post by Sooke Fire Rescue.
And while no permit is required for the burning of yard waste, there are several regulations that apply.
Open-air burning is allowed for garden waste only and not for garbage or construction waste.
Fires are allowed between sunrise and sunset of the same day and the material being burned should be thoroughly dried and fed into the fire in a manner that safely sees it burn as quickly as possible.
That last point is particularly important as, beyond the restrictions laid out by the District of Sooke, the provincial Environmental Management Act, which supersedes the local regulations, can be used to require that burning debris is extinguished, should it be judged that the burning is resulting in excessive pollution.
Under that act, anyone convicted of violating the certain regulations, particularly those pertaining to the burning of unauthorized material, may be subject to fines not exceeding $200,000.
That said, other local regulations require that, when burning yard waste, a water source must be nearby and an adult must be present at all times. Fires must be at least 20 feet from a neighbour’s property line and structures and at least three metres away from any wild grassland.
Fire can be no bigger than six feet across and three feet high unless on an acreage of more than five acres.
On larger lots, the fires can be as much as 12 feet across.
Finally, if burning is taking place in the sewer specified area, residents must check the BC Government Venting index before lighting a fire. Conditions must be fair or good for fires to be allowed.
Specifics of the burning regulations can be found at sooke.ca/i-want-to/find/burning-regulations.