Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Department Burning Regulations


      (usually posted
      early afternoon)


      Burning Regulations
      Prevention & Tips
      Property Address





     Coastal Fire Centre
       Wildfire News



Burning Regulations

Thetis Island Improvement District
Local Fire Hazard Rating

High local fire hazard - Link to information about hazard ratings and fire permits

What types of burning are allowed, and
Do you need a Fire Permit?

Please consult this table to see if the type of burning you have in mind is currently allowed and if a fire permit is required for it.

Permits can be obtained free of charge by application to the Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Department. See the Fire Permits page for details.

In addition to a valid fire permit, all Machine Class A burn piles require a Department Site Inspection and Venting authorization.

top of page

Venting Information

For a detailed explanation of the terms and concept of Venting, and the Venting Index, go to the BC Air Quality page. For a quick "yes or no" on whether the venting index allows burning today, go to the interactive venting map page.

In brief, you are looking for two "good" venting days in a row for a substantial fire, or at least a "good" and a "fair". It is illegal to burn in poor venting conditions, as this creates a significant health hazard not only for you, but your neighbours and general area. In this indexing system, 0-33 is considered POOR ventilation, 34-54 is FAIR ventilation, and 55-100 is GOOD ventilation.

You can also get current venting information for BC by phoning 1-888-281-2992 and press 2 for Vancouver Island Region.

Some people are ignoring the Provincial Regulations and are igniting their yard waste fires on "NO" days of POOR or FAIR Venting for this area. Not only does this cause local smoke pollution of your neighbours, others on Vancouver Island can see the smoke and will check the Venting Index, and then complain to the CVRD about airshed pollution. We are trying very hard to not lose our ability to have outdoor burning on Thetis Island while the rest of the CVRD is under severely restricted regulations for backyard burns. If everyone here burns responsibly by following the Smoke Control Regulations we may avoid losing outdoor burning altogether.

top of page

Approved Incinerator and Open Air Burning

Open Air Fires:

The permit holder must ensure that the open burn site is located at least 3m (10 ft.) from any grass, shrubbery, trees, or wooden fences and at least 6m (20 ft.) from any building. The Permit holder must have a water source at the site and it must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times during burning. Hand Piled Open fires are meant for burning brush, slash, trees, or other woody debris), not exceeding 2 meters in height and 3 meters in diameter.

Before you burn, check to see if materials can be recycled or are prohibited.

Authorized Incinerator:

An Authorized Incinerator is one that is maintained in a condition that provides for proper combustion of any material burned.  The permit holder must always supervise the incinerator and have water on hand at the site.  The Authorized incinerator must be located at least 2m (6 ft.) from any dry grass, shrubbery, or wooden fences, and/or 4.5m (15 ft.) from any building.  The incinerator must have a mesh screen where the mesh weave measures not more then 16mm or less than 8mm.

Approved Incinerator

Remember these points when burning:

top of page


If you are a regular campfire aficionado , we encourage you to look into purchasing an approved propane campfire appliance for the coming years. They are safe, create no sparks, and give you the campfire ambiance you want. During a Complete Fire Ban these appliances are allowed if CSA or UL approved. The type of extended hot dry summer we are experiencing this year (2015) is forecast to be the norm. Open fires will be extremely curtailed or prohibited in the region.
This is a good comparison chart when shopping for a CSA approved propane campfire:

If you want a wood campfire, and they are currently allowed with a permit, the following information is taken from the B.C. Forestry Service website:

Category 1 Open Fire (Campfires):
General Guide to Responsible Burning

Careless use of campfires is one of the leading causes of forest fires. Campfires (Category 1 open fire) must comply with the requirements of the Wildfire Regulation.

There are times when fires should not be lit. Fires should not be lit or allowed to continue to burn when the:
  • wind is strong enough to cause sparks to be carried to other combustible material; or
  • when a notice banning or restricting the use of campfires is in effect.
When building your campfire:
  • Select your campsite carefully and with full regard for safety.
  • Prepare your campfire by removing all leaves, twigs and other flammable material around the fire.
  • Be sure to scrape or dig down to mineral soil.
safe placement of campfire
  • Build your campfires a safe distance from any log, stump, snag, standing tree, wooden structure or other flammable material.
where to build your campfire
  • The size of the campfire must not exceed one half metre in height and one half metre in diameter. The best cooking fire is small and hot.
size of campfire
  • Equip yourself with adequate tools and water. These must be kept near the fire at all times.
size of campfire
  • Attend your campfire at all times and be certain it is extinguished before leaving it. Sift the ashes with your fingers to be sure.
extinguishing your campfire

If your fire escapes
or you require assistance containing your fire
call 9-1-1
or the TIVFD Duty Officer at

top of page

Prohibited Burning Materials

Can you recycle any material before you burn?

top of page

Additional Burning Information Resources

BC Government - Ministry of Forests:

Forest Fire Prevention and Suppression Regulation

Fire Danger Ratings

Fire Regulations, Bans and Area Restrictions in BC

All Current Wildfires and Wildfire News

top of page

Re-use or recycle before you burn?

Please check to see if material can be re-used or recycled before you light a burn pile.

The CVRD Peerless Road Drop-Off Recycling Depot is open Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am to 5:00pm at TransCanada Hwy and Thicke Road, Ladysmith

For a complete list of the Recycling facilities in this area, check the CVRD Recycling Webpages

top of page


© 2005 - Thetis Island Improvement District and Moore Hill Graphics