April 24, 2013 - 12:36 PM
The Open Burning Season will end across the Central Okanagan on Tuesday, April 30th. If conditions permit, that’s the last day, eligible property owners with burning permits in the City of Kelowna and Districts of Lake Country, Peachland and West Kelowna and four Regional District fire protection areas, will be allowed to burn yard waste and prunings, unless they have a special permit from their local fire chief.
Under local government bylaws, Central Okanagan fire chiefs have the authority to adjust the burning season depending on the fire hazard. Normally open burning permits are available to qualified property owners between October 1st and April 30th. Those with permits should be aware that Open Burning and issued permits may be cancelled by fire authorities before the April 30th deadline, if the fire hazard rises. Local media will be advised if there is an earlier closure.
In the Central Okanagan, only owners of properties larger than one hectare are allowed to burn outdoors after obtaining a permit from their local fire authority and only when both the air and venting conditions are good. Before lighting any fire, farmers and large lot owners must call the Outdoor Burning Hotline
(1-855-262-2876) or check the online Index (www.regionaldistrict.com/airquality) to ensure burning is allowed on a particular day.
The Regional District encourages everyone to keep the air clean and choose other yard waste disposal options. The bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program is underway and anyone may use the year-round free yard waste disposal program at either the Glenmore Landfill or Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre off Asquith Road in West Kelowna. Yard waste and pruning’s weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and 20 centimetres or less in diameter may be dropped off for free at any time of the year. When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered. Loads exceeding the maximum weight up to 20 centimeters in diameter will be charged $40.00 per tonne while those with a larger diameter will be charged $65 a tonne, as long as the yard waste is separated from regular garbage. As well, a number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers.
Most of the burning permits that are issued in the Central Okanagan are for agricultural burning, which is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation. The Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage the use of the Agricultural Chipping Program as an alternate method for disposing of wood waste resulting from orchard removal. In addition, the program offers a Best Management Practices handbook and DVD to help farmers.
Central Okanagan residents are reminded to check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions regarding campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood fire burning devices.
Fire Department Jurisdictions for Permits
Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas
(residents within Ellison, Joe Rich, Wilson’s Landing, North Westside Fire Protection Areas):
Call the Regional District (250-469-6223 weekdays only 8:00 am – 4:00 pm excluding holidays)
Note: North Westside residents may call ‘Collect’ or avoid long distance charges by using a cellular phone. They may also contact North Westside Fire/Rescue at 250-545-1195 to obtain a permit.
City of Kelowna residents contact - Kelowna Fire Department 250-469-8801
Lake Country residents contact - Lake Country Fire Department 250-766-2327
Peachland residents contact - Peachland Fire Rescue Service 250-767-2841
West Kelowna residents contact – West Kelowna Fire/Rescue 250-769-1640
All West Kelowna municipal burning permits will be issued from Lakeview Station 32, 2708 Olalla Road
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013