“High risk activity” means each of the following: mechanical brushing, disk trenching, preparation or use of explosives, using fire- or spark- producing tools including cutting tools, using or preparing fireworks or pyrotechnics, grinding, mechanical land clearing, log forwarding other than by logging truck on a road, skidding logs, yarding logs using cable systems, using a vehicle with metal tracks, chains or studs, operating a power saw, clearing or maintaining right of ways, including grass mowing, rock drilling, tree processing including de-limbing, welding, portable wood chipping, milling, processing or manufacturing. This is as per CRD bylaw 3452
For more information on high risk activities, please visit https://saltspringfire.com/high-risk-activities-new/
“Early shift” means high risk activities must cease by 1pm, and be followed by a 2 hour fire watch. During that time, non-high risk activities can be completed, while someone remains at the site and monitors for any sign of smoke. The fire watch requires at least 1 competent person to be on site with water and digging tools. They should also be able to contact 911 if necessary.
“Shut down” means all high risk activities are banned, unless written permission is issued by the fire chief or designate.
Saturna Island Burning Regulations
Outdoor burning on Saturna Island is regulated by BC Wildfire laws, the provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation and CRD bylaw 3452.
Info about the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation, which governs the ventilation index, can be found at:
The CRD blyaw can be found at:
The bylaw distinguishes between 3 kinds of outdoor fires:
CLASS A – open burning of debris in piles larger than 2m wide x 1m high, and any land clearing debris
CLASS B – open burning of debris in piles smaller than 2m wide x 1m high
CLASS C – includes campfires, which are fires less than 0.5m wide used for cooking, or warmth. Also includes the use of domestic incinerators, which are steel burn barrels or other fireproof containers capped with steel mesh with holes no larger than 3/8” (10mm).
Also included in Class C are charcoal grills, outdoor contained wood-burning appliances, and the like.
Propane appliances are NOT included in Class C
CLASS A fires require a permit year-round. A permit (registration number) can be obtained by phoning (888) 797-1717. A copy of the WILDFIRE ACT AND REGULATION can be viewed on the BC Forest Service website at: bcwildfire.ca/LegReg/ which outlines the obligations of those undertaking open burning.
In the NATIONAL PARK, or GINPR, there are NO FIRES permitted anytime.
CLASS B fires require a permit during Fire Season, which runs from April 15 – October 31st, or as extended by the fire chief. At all times of the year, the fires must:
- Be 10m from any building, structure, fence, tree or hedge
- Have no green (less than 30 days old) debris
- Be for no more than 4 consecutive days
- Have no materials added within 2 hours of sunset
- Be continuously controlled and supervised, with sufficient tools, water and labour on site to control and prevent it from spreading.
CLASS C fires do not require a permit, but permission to have them will be canceled by the fire chief when weather conditions warrant. They must also be used responsibly all year round, and a full set of conditions can be read in the bylaw linked above.
Other activities that can be prohibited at times of the year are industrial and “high risk activities”, which include, but are not limited to, mechanical brushing, use of explosives or fireworks, use of spark-producing tools, use of a vehicle with metal tracks, chains or studs, wood milling, logging, etc.
The fire chief and his/her agents take direction from the BC wildfire service, the CRD bylaw and nearby fire departments on when to permit or prohibit various burning and other outdoor activities that entail fire risk. Ultimately, the Fire chief has the authority under the CRD bylaw to determine when to restrict certain activities that involve risk of fire.