Outdoor Burning

outdoor burning

We limit outdoor burning in Saanich for a few reasons:

  • To reduce fire risk
  • Preserve air quality
  • Protect our environment

Read our Fire Prevention and Life Safety Bylaw

Beach Fires, Fire Pits, Barbeques and Outdoor Heaters

Not allowed

  • 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

Did you know Saanich will pick up and recycle yard and garden refuse from your home? You can also recycle this refuse at the Yard and Garden Waste Drop-off at 1010 McKenzie Avenue.

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.

In rural areas outside the Urban Containment Boundary

You can burn yard and garden refuse outdoors in rural areas outside the Urban Containment Boundary.

  • You can burn between and including October 16 and April 30.
  • Burning wood in an outdoor fire pit, fireplace, pizza oven or chiminea is not permitted.  
  • You must follow the conditions below.

No permit burning

  • 1 pile up to 1 metre (3 feet) in diameter. 
  • You can burn only on Friday from sunrise to sunset and Saturday from sunrise to noon. 

Open-air permit burning

We may issue an 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. 
  • Only 1 open-air fire may be started and maintained on any single property at any given time.
  • 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.
  • 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 - CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DURING CONSTRUCTION
  • 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.

Clean Heating

Excessive chimney smoke is a nuisance and health hazard. Follow our clean heating guidelines if using wood to heat your home.