Nelson Fire has opened the fall burning period for residents, subject to a permit that can be acquired at the firehall. File photo

Fall burning period approved by Nelson Fire and Rescue

Residents can burn non-compostable wood debris with a permit

Nelson Fire Chief Len MacCharles is encouraging you to reduce the amount of deadfall, woody debris and long grasses around your home to minimize the fire risk posed by these ground fuels ahead of next year’s wildfire season.

The spring and fall are good times to reduce the amount of fuel around your home that could ignite from an ember shower from a nearby wildfire during wildfire season. Many residents are cleaning up their yard in preparation for winter and Nelson Fire and Rescue strongly suggests you remove all coniferous plants within 1.5 metres of your home.

Earlier this year, city council passed a bylaw preventing the new planting of coniferous plants within 1.5 meters of structures. MacCharles points out that “90 per cent of structures lost due to wildfires are caused by flying hot embers and brands that can travel up to two kilometres, so removing these easily ignited plants from right near your home can make a huge difference.”

The best way to rid your properties of these fuels is to take them to the Grohman Narrows transfer station. Charges are $5 per load for yard waste loads up to 2.5 cubic metres ($50 for large loads and $25 per tonne if chipped).

Alternatively, MacCharles has approved a burn period subject to weather and local fire conditions until Nov. 3. This burn period is for the purpose of reducing non-compostable woody debris, which is clean, dry unstained, untreated wood resulting from residential yard clean up.

This does not include the burning of yard waste or vegetative matter such as leaves, grass clippings, vegetable stalks or similar. It is for woody debris and branches less than three centimetres in thickness and can only be burned on days with good venting.

Burning requires a permit issued by Nelson Fire and is subject to the following conditions (excerpt from Bylaw No. 3268, 2014):

• a competent person;

• must be at all times present and in charge of the fire while burning or smoldering;

• must be provided with efficient appliances and equipment to prevent the fire from getting beyond control or causing damage or becoming dangerous to life or property;

• must ensure that such fire is completely extinguished;

• no burning maybe carried out within five metres from any forest land, buildings, structures, commercial or industrial property or any combustibles;

• burning may only be carried out during the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.;

• only clean, dry, solid and untreated wood and woody debris collected or accumulated from the owner or occupant’s land on which the burning will take place may be burned;

• no pile of burning woody debris may exceed 1.5 metres in diameter or one metre in height;

• accelerants, building materials and non-organic material are not permitted and may not be burned;

Despite the issuance of a permit, no burning maybe carried out if:

• it would be unsafe to do so due to climatic conditions or any other hazard;

• if the air quality venting index is not “Good” or is otherwise deemed by the Ministry of Environment or Ministry of Health to be not suitable for burning;

• the owner or occupant must provide proof of fire insurance in a form and with content and deductible satisfactory to the fire chief.

Permits must be acquired in person at Nelson Fire and Rescue Services, located at 919 Ward St., and the $10 fee can be paid by cash or cheque at the time of issuance along with proof of fire/liability insurance for the property conducting the burning.

Residents are required to follow the Ministry of Environment’s venting index guidelines and only burn on days when venting is listed as good on the day of burning to minimize any accumulation of smoke-caused air pollution.

Residents are also required to report to Nelson Fire and Rescue on the days they intend to burn.

Contravention of Bylaw No. 3268 may result in suspension or revocation of the permit and/or a fine or fee for service.

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