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RDNO Extends Cancellation of Open Burn Permits

Posted Thursday, April 16, 2020

On March 30, the RDNO announced the cancellation of all open burn permits issued for the Fire Protection areas of Electoral Areas B (Swan Lake) and C (BX / Silver Star) until April 15. The RDNO has revisited this and decided that open burning permits will continue to be cancelled until further notice. This is in line with the province-wide ban on open burning that will be in effect beginning on April 16. The province-wide open burning ban also includes Electoral Areas D, E, and F.

“The decision to extend the cancellation follows the province-wide ban on open burning that will be in place on April 16,” said Amanda Shatzko, Electoral Area C Director.

Wood-burning campfires are not banned in the North Okanagan under this decision; however, they are discouraged as even small fires add to air pollution.

“Doing everything we can to help keep our neighbours and community safe is of the utmost importance. According to the BC CDC, deterioration in air quality may lead to more COVID-19 infections overall, so this is an obvious step to improve air quality in these times,” said Bob Fleming, Electoral Area B Director.

As this is a provincial ban, non-compliance should now be reported to the Province, not the RDNO, at 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. More details on the April 16 open burning ban can be found on the Government of British Columbia’s website.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control:

As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in BC continue to increase, the BC Centre for Disease Control recommends implementing measures that help to reduce excess air pollution. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function. This means that:

  • Deterioration in air quality may lead to more COVID-19 infections overall,
  • Deterioration in air quality may lead to more cases of severe COVID-19 infections, adding further demand to our healthcare system, and
  • Improvements to air quality may help to protect the whole population from COVID-19 and its potentially severe effects.

Source: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/air-land-water/air/advisories/2020-03-26_hssz_open_burning_restrictions_issued.pdf