Burning and Air Quality
Effective at noon on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, open fires will be permitted in the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction; this rescinding of open burning prohibitions means that campfires, Category 2 open fires, Category 3 open fires and resource management burns will be permitted within the Coastal Fire Centre's jurisdiction. However, open burning in the CVRD is restricted to between March 15 and April 15, and October 15 to November 15.
Smoke pollution from open burning can seriously impact your health, as well as the health and well-being of your family and neighbours. The CVRD and partners have set up a network of air quality sensors for residents to check out real-time air pollution levels in the Cowichan region.
To protect and improve air quality in the Cowichan Region, the CVRD has drafted two bylaws which regulate backyard burning and landclearing debris burning. Make sure that you know the rules before you burn!
If you heat your home with a woodstove, you may also be eligible for a rebate through the 2020 Woodstove Replacement Program.
Smoke Pollution and Your Health
Scientific evidence indicates a strong link between air pollution levels and impacts on human health. Burning yard waste in your backyard or improperly using a woodstove for home heating spreads invisible, toxic chemicals throughout the region. These chemicals include dioxins, furans, arsenic, mercury, PCBs, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, hydrochloric acid and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).