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CITY OF VERNON B.C.
CAMPFIRE BAN PROPOSAL
September 22, 2013
The City of Vernon B.C. is proposing a ban on backyard campfires
and only allow campfires in campgrounds.
You would be permitted to burn other types of fuels in your campfire like
propane and briquettes, but you are not permitted to burn wood due to air
City of Vernon Fire Prevention Amendment Bylaw #5105
A bylaw to Amend Fire Prevention Bylaw Number #4476
April 8, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and
Services Committee Meeting Agenda
Item 5.1 Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition.pdf
Item 6.1 Bylaw Dispute Adjudication Program.pdf (for some reason RDCO has
this under Bylaw Dispute Adjudication)
*This is only a portion of the agenda ... please click
link for entire contents
OKANAGAN SIMILKAMEEN AIRSHED COALITION MINUTES
4.6. Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation Intention Paper Feb. 24,
Ralph Adams provided background information on the Provincial Open Burning Smoke
Control Regulation Intention paper and informed the Committee that the process
has started again with a stakeholder group in place. He noted that there might
be a delay on the Intention Paper as the decision as to whether there should be
high sensitive smoke areas seems to be an obstacle. He noted that there is
agreement that the Intention Paper will have mechanisms for burning plans that
could be developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests and Range, Local
Governments and Fire departments, which would allow for interface and fuel
It was brought to the Coalition's attention that there was a legal opinion from
Crown Counsel that the Ministry of Environment does not have the authority to
enforce open burning on Federal Land however; the Canada Health Act may provide
a mechanism to improve burning practices.
ACTION: Ralph Adams to obtain relevant Health Act information in regards to open
It was noted that calls have been received inquiring if the Agriculture Chipping
Program also covers Band Land.
RDOS have noticed more growers are participating in the alternative to burning
ACTION: Staff to inquire if the First Nation Health officer in Kelowna would
like to attend the OSAC meetings.
4.5. Anti-idling - Mayor Shepherd, Nicole Marzinzik
Staff provided information to guide the Coalition in a discussion on how to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions from idling vehicles and provide recommendations
to the participating Regional Districts.
• Educating and modeling should be the priority, target schools and
• Develop broad based campaigns (plans) working on behavioral changes using
social marketing (resources may be available from Fraser Basin).
• Have sectors set up their own clear objectives on how to reduce emissions.
• Participating Regional Districts should lead by example regarding anti-idling
• Need to determine where the resources of the emissions are (traffic patterns,
talking on cell phone, drive thrus) and who can look at this through their
portfolios and promote the reduction of idling.
• Inquire if the Federal Government has funding and if they are providing
anti-idling ambassadors again this year.
It was agreed that the Coalition should raise awareness and show leadership in
the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, before recommending an anti-idling
Bylaw to their Regional Districts. The marketing could be done by one Regional
District and then share the message throughout the valley. It was noted that it
would be a challenge for the RDNO, as there is no
dedicated staff person for Air Quality.
Page 3 of 7
WHEREAS the UBCM Climate Action Charter, requires each Municipality to become
carbon neutral by 2012 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020 to
meet the BC Climate targets,
THEREFORE the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition recommends to the three
Regional District Boards that they receive the anti-idling discussion and the
Cracking Down on Idling papers and request that they consider a social marketing
program for anti-idling,
AND FURTHER THAT the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition request regional and
municipal governments forward any anti-idling policies to the Okanagan
Similkameen Airshed Coalition for their review.
4.9. Highway Expansion
Chair Patton noted that expansion to a four-lane highway north of Osoyoos is
occurring and businesses along the highway are going to be negatively impacted.
It was felt that this will become the corridor for Highway 97.
That the Okanagan
Similkameen Airshed Coalition recommend to the Regional Boards that a letter be
sent to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure asking that they
support public transportation as an economical and environmental alternative to
Vernon Morning Star Oct 12, 2007 says campfires
may be getting doused now!
Regional District of Central Okanagan
Regional Fire Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
July 26, 2007
This is only a snippet. Please click minutes if you wish to read the whole
click meeting minutes to read the rest of the minutes.
The Fire Technical Advisory Committee does not feel it necessary to amend the
Bylaw to include the banning of chimineas.
click article for larger print
City of Vernon B.C. public notice to amend bylaw to ban backyard campfires.
Fire Ban Draws Anger
click article for larger print
article from the
Vernon Morning Star Friday November 16, 2007 page A7
Get a life
July 11, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star Online
I completely concur with Mr. Rosher. We moved to Coldstream, to
obtain a rural lifestyle. Part of that, enables us to have a totally
contained fire around which we sit with friends and family.
And we do roast marshmallows, hot dogs, and cook dinner on that
fire. You bet we do. It is contained within a metal washing machine
tub, surrounded by certified fire brick.
We have hoses within 20 feet of the fire at all times. And, when
burning restrictions come into play, we comply 100 per cent by not
So now what do we face? Restrictions like we lived within city
limits. Come on, we live in Lavington, but pay our taxes to
And now you are telling me that I face a fine?
I am quite sure that this has come about, due to some medaling nosy
residents, who have nothing better to do than "tattle tale" on
otherwise law-abiding citizens.
To them, my words are, "get a life."
In my yard, I pay the taxes, and am the goddess of my own domain.
When we choose to have a well maintained and controlled fire, we
should not have to be concerned about by-law officers having to
waist our tax dollars on a otherwise petty issue.
So, to the Coldstream office, please find something useful to spend
our tax dollars on. And to the nosy neighbors, please, find
something useful to do with your life and time.
Middleground needed on fires
Vernon council’s actions Monday may bring a raging debate over backyard
campfires under control.
Despite a staff recommendation to amend a bylaw so campfires are illegal except
for in private and provincial campgrounds, the politicians delayed the matter so
the issue can be reconsidered further.
There is no question that residential campfires pose a fire risk and help
contribute to poor air quality, so the fire department was right to consider
ways of dealing with those issues.
However, it was increasingly obvious that a blanket ban was not only unrealistic
but unpopular with many residents.
Many people living on large acreages, especially along Okanagan Lake, have
enjoyed backyard campfires for decades. And given the size of their lots and the
rural nature of the Landing, such an activity should continue as long as
property owners follow all safety precautions.
But the real concern appears to be in the more urbanized parts of the community,
such as East Hill and South Vernon. Lots are smaller and homes are much closer
together, especially where multi-family units exist.
If a fire were to spread under those circumstances, the impact could be
And in terms of air quality, smoke is more likely to hang over neighbourhoods
right in town, whereas wind off Okanagan Lake largely deals with the situation
in the Landing.
Ultimately, residents of all parts of Vernon — whether urban or rural — can’t
ignore the fact that fire can pose a safety risk, while negatively impacting
people with asthma.
But the rural/urban divide may be a good compromise so the tradition can
continue in some cases.
Source Vernon Morning Star November 28, 2007
|Campfire ban sent back to drawing board
By Richard Rolke
A proposed ban on campfires in Vernon could be watered down.
Council instructed staff Monday to take a second look at a bylaw
amendment that would have prohibited campfires in residential
“I don’t see why we have to tell some grandfather he can’t light a
campfire with his kids,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy, who led the charge
against the content of the bylaw.
“Our campfires don’t create the problems our fire chief says they
However, the rest of council supported staff trying to address fire
safety and air quality issues.
“Our chief is trying to go in the right direction,” said Coun. Barry
Beardsell believes there may be a need to just look at restrictions
so fire safety in more urbanized areas is addressed.
“I would like to think that some form of compromise can be reached.”
At a recent public hearing, a number of people — especially in more
rural Okanagan Landing — protested the possibility of a campfire
Many of them pointed to smoke from developers clearing land as being
more of an air quality issue.
That view wasn’t lost on Coun. Juliette Cunningham.
“It’s pretty hard to sell (a campfire ban) when you see huge
bonfires from the development community,” she said.
Gilroy added that if there is a concern about air quality, the focus
should be on woodstoves and vehicles idling.
He added that while he was a deputy fire chief, he was never aware
of campfires creating a significant fire risk.
“We should leave some things in place instead of running people’s
The thrust of the staff review will be to determine if there should
be separate campfire rules for urban neighbourhoods and rural
Source Vernon Morning Star - November 28, 2007
Let us know what you think regarding the
debate on banning campfires.
If you have comments good or bad, solutions, concerns or complaints regarding
the ban on campfires please make a comment
to the community by filling out the form below, and/or comment to the
Regional District of Central Okanagan, and/or the
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