Open Burning - Things to know…

Are there alternatives to burning yard waste?

Yes, consider composting leaves and other organic waste or using waste vegetation as mulch to discourage weed growth. You can chip (chippers can be rented from local equipment rental firms) larger diameter waste and use chipped material in compost or as mulch.

Residents can dispose of ‘green’ waste at the Sechelt Landfill free of charge. You can also contact Salish Soils (604-885-5383) to discuss possible disposal at their composting facility. Even if you have to hire, rent or borrow a vehicle to haul your green waste, this may be a better option, if you do not feel that you can safely burn or dispose of waste on site. Partner with neighbours to share costs and haul one large load of waste rather than a number of small ones!'

Are there materials that must not be burned?

Yes. Burning of the following materials is prohibited: toxic materials (rubber tires, tar, asphalt, batteries, electrical wire insulation, various plastic compositions, fuel and lubricant containers, animal waste and all similar substances which produce heavy black smoke), household garbage and construction or demolition waste.

Are camp or ceremonial fires permitted on residential properties in Sechelt?

Yes, as long as these fires do not exceed 1 meter in height and 1 meter in diameter, do not create a smoke or spark nuisance to neighbouring properties; or contravene any Fire Department restrictions respecting open air burning. Such fires need to be contained in a fire pit, clear of overhanging foliage, have access to a water hose and be tended by someone responsible, 18 years of age or older.

Are land-clearing burns permitted in Sechelt?

Land clearing burns are not permitted in the District of Sechelt.

What are the penalties for violating Sechelt’s Open Burning Bylaw?

Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of the bylaw commits an offence punishable upon summary conviction pursuant to the Offence Act and is liable to a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or to imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Each day that an offence continues shall constitute a separate offence.

I believe a burn is being conducted in violation of the Bylaw; what can I do?

Report the burn to Sechelt Bylaw Enforcement by calling 604-885-1986 during District office hours (Mon-Fri: 8am to 4:30pm, excluding statutory holidays) or 604-989-0176 after hours. Make sure you know the street address where the suspected illegal burn is taking place. To file an official complaint, you will be required to provide the Bylaw Enforcement Officer with your name and contact information.

Where can I get more information or ask a question about burning?

You can submit questions to info@sechelt.ca, call the District Office at 604-885-1986 or visit us on the Second Floor of 5797 Cowrie Street.

Good neighbours build great communities! Talk to your neighbours if you plan to burn. You may be able to arrange your burn so that impacts are lower for others. If you experience a problem with smoke from someone else burn, courteously let them know. Most people will understand and be willing to work with you, if they are aware of your concerns or health issues.