Burning season is scheduled to start this year on April 1, giving Township of Langley residents on rural properties a chance to clean up their yards and get rid of debris that has accumulated over the winter.
However, burning is limited to certain areas and a valid permit must be obtained before any fires can be started.
The Township of Langley Fire Department will be issuing burning permits for open air burning from April 1 to April 30, weather permitting. Open air burning permits are only available to properties that are .2 hectares (half an acre) or larger and are surrounded by properties that are equal or greater in size. Burning is not allowed and permits are not issued for the urban areas of Aldergrove, Brookswood, Fort Langley, Murrayville, Walnut Grove, and Willoughby.
Permits can be obtained at Fire Hall 6 in Murrayville, at the Township Civic Facility and Operations Centre, and community recreation centres. Visit tol.ca for more information.
All other fires, including camp fires and bon fires, are banned all year round – even if they are monitored by people gathered around them. As well, Township of Langley Burning Regulations do not allow for any type of outdoor cooking over a wood fire.
“People may think they can have a fire in their backyard if they own or live on rural land, but that is not the case,” said Township of Langley assistant chief of prevention Pat Walker. “Backyard bonfires are problematic because they create smoke that inundates the air with particulates, making breathing uncomfortable for others and causing damage to the environment.”
“As well, fires pose a risk of running out of control,” he said. “While it may have been rainy and cold recently, it doesn’t take long for grass and trees to become dry and extremely flammable as soon as the sun comes out.”
Those caught burning illegally can face fines of $200 or higher.
Residents who notice backyard fires should report them to the Fire Department at 604-532-7500 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the evenings and on weekends, fires can be reported to the department’s non-emergency line at 604-543-6700 or 911.
“If you are in doubt of the origin of the fire, always call 911,” Walker said.