Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – Effective Monday, November 1, 2021, the backyard (yard waste) burning season will be open in Sooke. During the months of the burning season, November to April, open-air burning can take place only from sunrise to sunset when the venting index for Southern Vancouver Island is GOOD (am or pm reading). This applies to all properties within the District, both inside and outside of the sewer specified area as well as properties within the agricultural land reserve.
The ventilation index is a measure of how weather conditions will impact the dispersion of smoke. View Venting Index online. To find Sooke’s venting index, look for the “SRN VAN ISLD” listing. Alternately, you can call 1-888-281-2992 and press “2” to verify the current venting index for South Vancouver Island.
“Please be mindful of your neighbours and respectful of the regulations in place, burning only permitted materials under supervision and with water nearby,” says District Interim Fire Chief Cam Norris-Jones. “We also recommend that you cover yard waste with a tarp in preparation for burning. Burning dry materials produce less smoke, reducing impact for neighbours.”
When it comes to backyard burning, residents are asked to:
- Check the venting index before burning
- Refrain from burning prohibited materials(construction waste, garbage, etc)
- Ensure the debris is dry
- Shorten burning periods as much as possible
- Locate burn piles as far away from property lines and structures as possible (at minimum, 20 feet)
- Monitor the smoke to ensure that it is venting well and not impacting neighbours
- Limit the number of hours that you burn, burning only between sunrise to sunset – the fire must be completely extinguished by sundown.
Residents may also wish to consider alternatives to burning such as composting, recycling, or chipping. If residents have questions on the burning regulation bylaw, please call 250.642.1634.
- District of Sooke Burning Regulations
- Alternatives to Backyard Burning Rack Card
- District of Sooke Bylaw 292 – Fire Protection Services
- Video: Changes to Sooke’s Burning Bylaw (effective June 1, 2021)
- Ministry of Environment Venting Index – scroll down to SRN VAN ISLD
- Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (OBSCR)
Christina Moog, Communications Coordinator
250.643.1634, ext. 678