The City of Colwood recognizes that air quality impacts the health of the community for residents and our natural environment. The burning regulations below and programs like Branch Drop Off are designed to discourage local burning which can impact air quality.
Open burning is prohibited.
The City of Colwood prohibits all open yard fires, beach fires and camp fires as well as land clearing, demolition and construction waste fires. No beach fires are permitted at Esquimalt Lagoon. Read the reasons below, or review Bylaw 931 for full details.
Contained fire appliances are permitted (except when fire rating is HIGH or EXTREME)
The use of charcoal or gas barbecues, portable gas campfires and smokers for the curing of food are permitted.
Chimineas and similar contained patio/outdoor wood burning appliances are permitted for residential use EXCEPT when the fire rating is high or extreme and following safety restrictions are followed:
- Outdoor burning appliances must be specifically manufactured for this purpose – no homemade devices are permitted.
- The fire box size must not exceed 24 inches by 24 inches.
- Outdoor burning appliances must be installed on private property and situated on a fire-safe solid base.
- No outdoor burning appliance shall be mounted or used above or below grade level.
- Outdoor burning appliances must be situated at least 20 feet from any building, fence, property line, trees, bushes or other combustible materials.
- Outdoor burning appliances must be enclosed by metal or mesh to contain the burning materials within the device
- A means of extinguishing the fire must be readily available (i.e. a charged garden hose with spray nozzle).
- Outdoor burning appliances are permitted between dawn and 10:00 pm only.
- There shall be no use of any outdoor burning appliance when the forest fire rating is High or Extreme. This regulation will be strictly enforced.
- Inspection of an outdoor burning appliance shall be at the owners request or upon complaint received by the City.
Why aren't beach fires permitted at the beach in Colwood?
Colwood Fire Department would like to remind residents that beach fires are not permitted in Colwood, for several reasons:
- Smoke from beach fires impacts air quality for the surrounding neighbourhood and can be quite toxic. Some treated driftwood releases dangerous chemicals.
- Many adults, children and pets have been seriously burned by beach fires that have been left burning, or smothered under the sand and not visible.
- A small beach fire left burning can be time consuming to get to and put out, tying up first responders who may be needed elsewhere in the community.
- Many people feel that allowing beach fires would reduce the amount of debris on the beach. But it is important to remember that the driftwood is one of the best natural ways to mitigate coastal erosion.
You can still roast your marshmallows at the beach!
Portable propane, charcoal briquette or natural gas appliances are permitted.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Colwood Fire Station if you have questions or concerns about burning regulations, or if you would like to set up an appointment to have one of our Fire Department Officers come by to provide you with a complimentary safety inspection of your newly installed outdoor burning appliance.