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Before You Burn

Quick Link: Venting index can befound on the internet here.

Is it legal to burn a substance in your backyard?

Backyard burning is legally allowed for some substances in some conditions, but never allowed for the following:

  • Plastic of any kind
  • Treated Lumber
  • Rubber
  • Demolition Waste
  • Tar Paper
  • Asphalt and Asphalt products
  • and others…..

Other prohibited items, as well as backyard burning regulations, can be found in the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation.

Burning prohibited materials can result in a fine of up to $200 000.

Fire Restrictions

Are there any fire restrictions for our area?

Fire Restrictions are typically put in place when the forest is dry and the danger
of wildfires increases. Check the Ministry website at or phone the Fire Information line at 1-888-336-737

Fire restrictions for our area can be found here.

Venting Index

The Venting Index is an estimate of how well smoke will be carried away.
If it is Poor or Fair, it is illegal to burn in our area. Don’t burn when the smoke will be trapped in the area. The Venting Index for our region must be rated as “Good” on the day(s) you plan to burn.

The Ministry of Environment has set up a central, toll-free number for all parts of the province: 1-888-281-2992.  It provides the Venting Index forecast and an air quality report for each region. It also explains whether or not it is safe to burn, and where you need to go for burning approvals.

The Venting index for our Region (Castlegar) can also be found on the internet here.

Tips on burning

Burn efficiently. Light a quick-burning, hot fire that produces a minimum of smoke. To do this, don’t starve the fire of oxygen and don’t burn wet material: make sure the material has been dried for some time.

Never burn any garbage such as plastics, or other toxic materials (e.g. tires, construction and demolition waste, treated and painted wood, rubber etc.)