Phone toll-free: 1-888-281-2992 press 3. Or, visit the BC Air Quality page for daily updates.
Please note: Morning Venting is rarely good.
The recommended start time for burning is 12 pm (noon) in the fall or 10 am in the spring.
To report the burning of prohibited materials and burning on poor venting days:
Your name and number will not be given to the offenders – only the Conservation Officers, so they may phone you if they need more details. Thank you for your help on this matter.
The Village of Keremeos permits the open burning of garden refuse and agricultural waste from October 16 to April 14. Only wood and plant matter may be burned. Care should be taken when open burning is undertaken; fires must not be left unattended at any time; water, soil or sand must be on hand to extinguish the fire; and flammable materials must be removed from a five-foot strip surrounding the fire.
Due to the semi-desert climate in this area, people are encouraged to burn only within the designated open burning time period.
For further information, please get in touch with the Village directly.
The burning regulations for areas outside of the Village of Keremeos (RDOS Areas B & G) are subject to the rules and regulations from the BC Wildfire Service (formerly known as the Ministry of Forest or Forest Services.)
The information below was copied from the Wildfire Service page on Open Burning.
Open burning—or burning outdoors—is allowed when the wildfire risk is low and can be useful when conducted responsibly. Even if there are no provincial open burning prohibitions in place, check with local government authorities for any other open burning restrictions.
British Columbia is a large and geographically diverse province. For that reason, decisions on when and where to implement fire bans and restrictions are made by B.C.’s six regional fire centres.
Multiple factors are considered when assessing wildfire hazards and deciding whether to implement an open fire prohibition, including current and forecasted weather conditions, the availability of firefighting resources and the Buildup Index (BUI).
Open burning includes Category 1 campfire, Category 2 and Category 3 open fire and Category 4 resource management open fire:
A category 1 fire, or campfire, is defined as:
Responsible campfire use follows the campfire regulations (PDF, poster).
Avoid having a campfire when it's windy; choose a proper fire pit or make a ring of rocks at least three metres from trees, shrubs, structures and debris, and do not leave a campfire unattended for ANY amount of time.
These are small fires for burning waste material not exceeding two meters in height and three meters in diameter. The accumulations are normally hand-piled. This type of burning is referred to as Category 2.
Category 2 open fire
This category refers to fires, other than a campfire, that burn:
All campfires and backyard burning must be extinguished before a person leaves the area of the fire.
These are large open fires generally used for burning numerous large piles.
Category 3 open fire
This category means an open fire that burns:
Large open fires are typically machine piles or windrows created to dispose of waste material. The requirements for safe burning vary based on the type of material to be burned, the distance from combustible material and the time of year the burn is scheduled.
Burning that takes place for resource management activities such as forest health, wildlife habitat, hazard abatement, or silvicultural prescriptions falls into this group.
Category 4 resource management open fire
This category refers to prescribed fire. Prescribed fire describes the deliberate use of fire to achieve a range of land stewardship objectives. It can help reduce the intensity of naturally occurring wildfires while returning an integral process to the land base.
These fires can take many months or even several years to plan, depending on the size, complexity and objectives the proponent is trying to achieve.
Common objectives include:
You can learn more about prescribed fire in B.C. at prescribedfire.ca.
Before lighting a fire, even if the burn category is not currently prohibited, ensure you are properly prepared, aware of the conditions and following open burning regulations:
Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire must first obtain a burn registration number by calling 1 888 797-1717. These numbers are logged into the Open Fire Tracking System (OFTS) along with details about the registered burn.
Unsure if you need to register your burn? Want to know what your legal obligations are when open burning? Learn more about registering for a burn.
The Government of BC has produced pamphlets detailing safe practices and the regulations around open burning.
Responsible campfire use follows the British Columbia Campfire Regulations (PDF, 220KB).
Anyone found contravening an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of up to $10,000, or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs. Violators could also be held responsible for damages to Crown resources, which could be significant. Read more about the Wildfire Act and Regulation.
During periods when forest fuels are dry (spring, summer or fall) and the danger of forest fires increases, the Wildfire Service may need to impose bans or restrictions on the use of fires. This action may be necessary to limit the risk of a forest fire starting or to address public health or safety concerns.
Forest fire detection, suppression, and cause determination can be hampered if regulated fire locations are unknown. You are required to call toll-free: 1-888-797-1717 to obtain a reference number if your burning falls into the industrial/agricultural or resource management groups (categories 3-7).