Open Burning now prohibited within Sooke – provincial powers under state of emergency

March 26, 2020 
[Sooke, BC]  

Powers under provincial state of emergency to keep communities safe, goods moving and essential service workers supported

The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, is using the powers under the Emergency Program Act to issue ministerial orders to collaboratively coordinate a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The powers that the province has under a state of provincial emergency will help keep British Columbians safe, maintain essential goods and services, and support the Province’s ongoing response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

A provincial state of emergency was declared on March 18, 2020 following the provincial health officer declaring a public health emergency on March 17. “B.C. is in a strong position to effectively respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Farnworth. “Informed by the direction of the provincial health officer, we’re taking these critical steps to keep our communities safe, goods moving and essential service workers supported.” 

 The ministerial orders, and unprecedented steps include: 

  • Supply chain: Establishing a new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to co-ordinate goods and services distribution; taking a more active role in co-ordinating essential goods and services movement by land, air, marine and rail; and suspending any bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day. 
  • Protecting consumers: Banning the secondary resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning and other essential supplies; and restricting quantities of items purchased at point of sale.  
  • Enforcement: Enabling municipal bylaw officers to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders for business closures and gatherings, in line with offences under the Public Health Act. 
  • Travel: Ensuring all passenger and car-ferry services provide minimum service levels and priority access for residents, and essential goods and workers. 
  • Protecting B.C.’s most vulnerable: Making it easier to support critical services for vulnerable people, like food banks and shelters. 
  • Co-ordination: Suspending local states of emergency specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, except for the City of Vancouver; giving municipal councils the ability to hold more flexible meetings to expedite decisions; and co-ordinating potential use of local publicly owned facilities, like community centres, for self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution. 

Read the full article here  

Province restricts all Open Burning in Sooke – campfires still permitted 

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with provincial public health partners has issued open burning restrictions for all High Smoke Sensitivity Zones across the province until Wednesday April 15th, 2020. Sooke falls within a High Smoke Sensitivity Zone (SSZ). This means that no new fires may be initiated, and no additional material may be added to existing fires. 

Provincial Air Quality Advisories 

Open Burning Restrictions established by the Province – effective March 26, 2020

  • Effective immediately, no further backyard burning or land clearing burning (Class A) is permitted within the District of Sooke. 
  • Small campfires in contained metal or masonry rings are still permitted from sun up to 1:00am. Clean, split wood only – no garden debris, garbage or other prohibited material. 

Burning Regulations in Sooke 

Learn More: 


Media Contact:
Matt Barney, Emergency Program Coordinator & EOC Director
District of Sooke Fire Rescue
250-642-5422 ext. 638 | 

District Contact and Social Media Channels:
Twitter:  @SookeCa
Facebook:  Emergency Program
District Phone: 250-642-1634
Fax: 250-642-0541
District Email:
Staff Email: Directory
Fire Dept. Phone:  250-642-5422
Fax:  250-642-3840