The first of two open burning windows begins in the Municipality of North Cowichan tomorrow.

The fire protection bylaw states that anyone burning inside the urban containment boundary, or the more populated areas, needs a burning permit.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said there are a number of regulations in place within the municipality.

“Fires larger than two metres high by three metres wide, or if you’re burning multiple piles at the same time, we don’t generally allow those within the urban containment boundary and even outside the urban containment boundary in the rural areas,” said Siebring. “We only allow it in conjunction with an air curtain burner, which gets rid of any flying ash and that kind of thing, just to reduce the risk of fires.”

Siebring explains that you can only burn when the venting index is good.

“Our regulations say the venting index needs to be good on the day you plan to burn and the day following,” said Siebring. “The venting index is just, how well can we get rid of the smoke. If we have an inversion layer and the smoke doesn’t go anywhere, it creates problems.”

Siebring added, “We only want you to burn on days where the smoke will dissipate and go away.”

For a look at the venting index, click here.

You need a new burning permit every spring and fall burning window and you can apply for one here.