We limit outdoor burning in Saanich for a few reasons:
- To reduce fire risk
- Preserve air quality
- Protect our environment
Read our Fire Prevention Bylaw [PDF - 51 KB].
All Halloween bonfires and fireworks require a permit from the Fire Department
Beach Fires, Fire Pits, Barbeques and Outdoor Heaters
- Beach fires.
- Burning wood in an outdoor fire pit, fireplace, pizza oven or chiminea.
- Propane, natural gas or charcoal briquette fueled appliances designed and used for cooking food.
- Propane or natural gas fueled appliances specifically designed as outdoor heaters, provided the appliance is CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certified.
Yard and Garden Refuse – Recycling and Outdoor Burning
Within Saanich’s Urban Containment Boundary
We do not permit outdoor yard and garden refuse burning at any time within Saanich's Urban Containment Boundary [PDF - 328 KB].
In rural areas outside the Urban Containment Boundary
You can burn yard and garden refuse outdoors in rural areas outside the Urban Containment Boundary [PDF - 328 KB].
- You can burn between and including October 16 and April 30.
- You must follow the conditions below.
No permit burning
- A pile up to 1 metre (3 feet) in diametre.
- A domestic incinerator fitted with a metal screen having 9.5 mm (3/8 inch) or smaller mesh.
- You can burn only on Friday from sunrise to sunset and Saturday from sunrise to noon.
Special permit burning
We may issue a Special Open Air Burning Permit to allow garden refuse burning in a pile up to 2 metres (6 feet) in diameter.
You need a permit.
- Permit fee is $10.
- You’ll receive a permit for a maximum of 7 days.
- With a permit, you can burn any day of the week, between sunrise and sunset.
- Your material must be clean and dry and in a condition that provides for safe and proper combustion.
- Do not burn paper products, except to start your garden refuse fire.
- You cannot burn garbage, construction waste, demolition material, rubber, animal or organic waste.
Clearance and Location Requirements
- Open air burning refuse pile: 7.6 metres (25 feet) from any building, wooden fence or property line.
- Domestic incinerators: 1.5 metres (5 feet) from any grass, shrub, tree, wooden fence or property line and 7.6 metres (25 feet) from any building.
- You need a competent person over 19 years of age to be in charge as long as any open fire is burning or smoldering.
- You need to have all equipment necessary on site to control, prevent the spreading of and extinguish the fire.
You can get burning permits here:
- Fire Station No. 1, 760 Vernon Avenue, 250-475-5500
- Fire Station No. 2, 4595 Elk Lake Drive, 250-479-1531
- Fire Station No. 3, 1900 McKenzie Avenue, 250-477-2515
Voluntary No Burning Days
The Ministry of Environment posts air quality information every day. If there is a poor venting index, please voluntarily curtail your outdoor burning.
Excessive chimney smoke is a nuisance and health hazard. Follow our clean heating guidelines [PDF - 300 KB] if using wood to heat your home.