The Saanich Fire Department is reminding rural Saanich residents to be safe and follow the guidelines when the open-air burning season resumes Oct. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Saanich Fire Department is reminding rural Saanich residents to be safe and follow the guidelines when the open-air burning season resumes Oct. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)

Open-air burning season resumes Oct. 16 in rural Saanich

Saanich firefighter talks outdoor burning guidelines, fire safety

Residents of rural Saanich will once again be able to burn yard waste during open-air burning season within the safety guidelines.

Outdoor burning is restricted to rural Saanich and is only permitted from Oct. 16 to April 30.

Strict restrictions are in place to reduce the risk of out-of-control fires, protect the environment and preserve air quality – which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, explained Capt. Carl Trepels of the Saanich Fire Prevention Division.

During burning season, rural property owners can burn clean, dry garden refuse in a pile no larger than three feet in diameter on Fridays from sunrise to sunset and Saturdays from sunrise to noon.

A special burning permit is required for fires up to six feet in diameter and for burning on any other weekday from sunrise to sunset and the $10 permits lasts seven days.

The municipality allows one yard waste fire per property per day in rural Saanich and the blaze must be monitored by a “competent person over the age of 19,” Trepels said. The fires must also be at least 25 feet from structures, fences and property lines, and control equipment – a shovel, rake, bucket and hose – must be nearby. He added that paper can only be burned to start the fire.

Trepels pointed out that while yard waste can be burned in rural areas, Saanich firefighters encourage residents to bring their refuse to the Public Works Yard at 1010 McKenzie Ave. instead of burning as it’s better for the environment.

No fires of any kind – from beach fires to backyard wood fires – are ever allowed within the urban containment boundary, Trepels noted. However, propane, natural gas and charcoal briquette-fueled appliances are permitted in residential areas. Anyone wanting to confirm if their property is within the parameters can visit saanich.ca.

To apply for a permit, contact Saanich Fire Prevention at 250-475-5500 or at fireprevention@saanich.ca. Permits must be paid for a picked up at municipal hall.


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