Backyard burning prohibited in Langley

It may have been a wet, cool summer so far, but Township of Langley residents are still not allowed to burn in their backyards.

It may have been a wet, cool summer so far, but Township of Langley residents are still not allowed to burn in their backyards.

A burning ban is in place throughout the Township year-round, with the exception of the month of April and from September 15 to October 31. During these times, residents are allowed to burn yard debris if they are on properties that meet size and location requirements, and have obtained a permit for the burning season.

But this is not burning season, warned Township Assistant Fire Chief Pat Walker.

“The Fire Department understands the desire for some people to do outdoor cooking and have social events around fires, but current regulations do not permit open, private cooking fires that use wood,” he said. “We want to work with the public and educate them, and try to reduce the number of calls we receive.”

The problem with backyard bonfires is that they create smoke that inundates the air with particulates, making breathing uncomfortable for others and causing damage to the environment, Walker said. As well, fires pose a risk of running out of control. While it has been rainy for some time, it doesn’t take long for grass and trees to become dry and extremely flammable as soon as the sun comes out.

Residents can’t burn garbage, paper, construction waste, or presto logs, and fire pits and chimineas are prohibited. While fires for cooking are not allowed, Walker said, briquettes can be used in barbecues, and Canadian Gas Approved (CGA) natural gas or propane barbecues and stoves are permitted.

Campfires are allowed only in regional parks, and only when weather conditions allow.

The Township’s fire ban is there to protect lives and property, Walker said, and those who violate the rules can be fined.

“We do ticket for these offences,” he said, adding that the Fire Department acts on complaints that are made by residents.

For more information, call the Township of Langley Fire Department at 604-532-7500.