Opening burning is no longer allowed in the Cowichan Valley.

The province restricted opening burning for all high smoke sensitivity zones, and that includes the Cowichan Valley.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy says the ban will last until the middle of April.

No new fires are allowed and material cannot be added to an existing fire.

Although the Cowichan Valley Regional District presently allows opening burning, the CVRD says the provincial ban overrides its District Smoke Control Regulation Bylaw.

Regional District chair Aaron Stone says they “appreciate the Provincial and health authorities for recognizing the importance of preventing air quality degradation,” and taking action at a critical time.