April 8, 2020 – Open Burning Prohibitions in the Region implemented by Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources - Starting April 16

Campbell River, BC – With the pleasant spring weather upon us, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is reminding everyone about open burning prohibitions to reduce demands on firefighting resources, help protect the health and safety of the public, help reduce the impact of wildfire smoke on air quality and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective next Thursday, April 16 at noon, most open burning activities will be prohibited throughout British Columbia to reduce the likelihood of human-caused wildfires, although campfires will still be allowed.

The following activities will be prohibited, and restrictions remain in effect until public is otherwise notified: 

  • Category 2 open fires – a fire, excluding a campfire, that burns piled material no larger than two metres high and three metres wide, or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares (2000 square metres) in size; 
  • Category 3 open fires – a fire that burns material in piles larger than two metres high and three metres wide, windrows, or grass over an larger than 0.2 hectares (2000 square metres) in size.
  • Resource Management open fires; 
  • The use of fireworks; 
  • The use of sky lanterns; and 
  • The use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description (except when used for a campfire). 

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within British Columbia, unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw). 

For the Strathcona Regional District’s Electoral Areas, this prohibition directly applies to:

  • North Quadra Island (outside of the Improvement District) and the remainder of Electoral Area C (Quadra & Discovery Islands)
  • All of Electoral Area D (Oyster Bay / Buttle Lake)
  • All of Electoral Area B (Cortes Island)
  • All of Electoral Area A (Sayward Valley)

The areas mentioned above all fall under the jurisdiction of the BC Wildfire Act with the exception of the southern potion of Electoral Area D which falls under the jurisdiction of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) through the Black Creek / Oyster Bay Fire Protection area. The CVRD will be following this burning ban.

A zoomable map of the fire protection areas is available online at www.srd.ca/fire-protection-map.

For more information about the different categories of open burning, please visit : www.gov.bc.ca/openfireregs and a map of the affected areas is listed online at http://ow.ly/8uct30qvSv2.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation remains dynamic in British Columbia and elsewhere around the world. The BC Wildfire Service continues to prepare for the 2020 wildfire seasons and is adapting in response to changing conditions.

Typically, human-caused fires are more common in the spring due to field and debris burning.  By enacting an earlier provincewide burning prohibition, the BC Wildfire Service anticipates a reduction in human-caused wildfires. This will minimize the need to deploy staff, which will help to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19. 

The BC Wildfire Service in-person services and reception areas are temporarily closed and can be reached in the following ways:

  • Report a wildfire: 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on a cell
  • Fire information line: 1 888 336-7378
  • Burn registration line: 1 888 797-1717
  • Social Media - Twitter: @BCGovFireInfo  |  Facebook: BC Wildfire Service
  • Phone: Coastal Fire Centre (Parksville): 250 951-4209

The Strathcona Regional District will continue to follow the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Provincial Health Officer. Visit www.srd.ca/COVID-19 to stay informed about changes to SRD services and facilities, helpful links to COVID-19 health information, community resources and more.

The Strathcona Regional District is a partnership of four electoral areas and five municipalities providing services to approximately 49,000 residents.     

Media contact:
Shaun Koopman, SRD Protective Services Coordinator
250-830-6702 | skoopman@srd.ca