To ensure the safety of our residents and community, the District of Sparwood restricts the acts of open air burning and the selling and discharge of fireworks in the community in accordance with Parts 7 and 9 of Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008 

There is no charge for a free burning or a fire pit / outdoor fireplace permit, applications may be obtained at the District of Sparwood Municipal Office, Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 4:00pm.

All permit holders must ensure that the fire is supervised by a competent person while it is burning or smoldering at all times until it is completely extinguished.  In the event that an incident results from a free burning fire, fire pit or outdoor fireplace, the property owner (as identified on the permit) will be liable for all costs and expenses for the Fire Department to respond to the incident in accordance with Schedule B of Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008.

Free (open air) Burning Permits

Open burning is the burning of combustible materials in such a manner that the products of combustion are emitted directly to the atmosphere.  Free burning as defined under Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008 is an outdoor fire not contained within a fire pit or outdoor fire place (for which a permit has been issued), not including an outdoor grill utilized for cooking purposes.

The open burning of refuse and combustible materials is prohibited unless conducted in strict accordance with Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008 and a permit has been issued by the Fire Chief.  The Fire Chief may refuse to issue, suspend or cancel a permit if allowing the fire is likely to cause a hazardous condition or nuisance, or impose restrictions on the size of the fire.

Burning is subject to the venting index, determined by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). MOE is mandated to regulate smoke emissions from open burning under the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation.   MOE uses Environment and Climate Change Canada’s generated venting and weather information to regulate where and when burning is permitted within timber supply areas.

Fire Pits & Outdoor Fireplaces Permits

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces shall be:

  • Designed to limit or reduce the danger of fire escaping from the outdoor fire pit or fireplace;
  • Located with a minimum of 3.4 meters (10 feet) clearance from buildings, structures, property lines or combustible materials and shall be free of overhead combustibles such as overhead buildings, structures, trees or other things; and
  • Constructed of non-combustible components.

It is the sole responsibility of the permit holder to ensure compliance with Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008 and that no hazard or nuisance is created as a result of their fire pit/outdoor fireplace and that the flames are no higher than ninety (90) cm (3.28 feet) above the fire pit.

Fireworks

As part of the Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008, it is illegal to buy or sell fireworks in Sparwood. Setting off fireworks is also prohibited unless authorization has been granted by the Fire Chief. Fireworks are generally used in large public displays by trained individuals.  The Fire Chief may revoke his authorization if, in his opinion, the discharge will create a fire hazard, a danger of a fire, or public safety is at an increased risk.

Fines for non-compliance

Failure to comply with the regulations set out in Fire Services Bylaw 974, 2008 could result in one or more fines for:

  • $200 for failing to obtain a permit;
  • $250 for burning prohibited materials;
  • $250 for causing a hazardous condition or nuisance;
  • $100 for unauthorized discharge of fireworks; or
  • $500 for unauthorized sale or set of fireworks.

If you are being bothered by the smoke from a fire or you are concerned about the location of an active fire and would like to make a complaint, please contact us at 250.425.6271.

The Wildfire Act applies on both public (Crown) and private land throughout British Columbia.  For more information on provincial fire prohibitions and restrictions, visit the BC Wildlife Service’s website or download their guides to open burning for stoves and campfires, backyard and industrial burning, and industrial and resource management burning