Reducing Smoke

Reducing the smoke from outdoor burning has become a high priority in British Columbia in recent years.  The Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation has been revised with this specific concern in mind.  We ask all residents and visitors to share this concern for the health of all who enjoy the outdoors.

Reducing the smoke you create when burning can be easy if you follow a few simple guidelines.

  • Season all wood for a minimum of 4 months.  
  • Never burn vegetation or wood that is freshly cut or wet.
  • Burning grass clippings and leaves is not permitted.
  • Consult the Venting Index to find a day where smoke will dissipate into the air. Category 2 and 3 fires are only permitted when the Venting index is Fair or Good.
  • Your goal is to make a hot fire.  A hot fire has fewer unburnt particles (smoke)
  • If the material is packed to densely or loosely it will burn inefficiently and produce unnecessary smoke.  When packed densely, insufficient air for combustion results in smoke.  When packed loosely, too much air flow reduces combustion temperatures and increases unburnt particles.
  • Burning wet material makes dense smoke that vents poorly because of the high content of moisture in the smoke.  
  • Burning wet material also results in lower burning temperatures which create more unburnt particles.
  • Extinguish your fire with water.  Smouldering remains of outdoor fires produce unnecessary smoke.