Back to top

Slash burning helps eliminate hazard of excess fuels

The Southeast Fire Centre was aware of the slash burning near Pass Creek. — Submitted photo

The burning of tree branchs, discarded logs and stumps from logging or any other land clearing projects is necessary to help protect forested areas during wildfire season said the Southeast Fire Centre.

The Southeast Fire Centre made the comment after a reader of The Nelson Daily raised concern when the Krestova resident noticed a burn near Pass Creek this past weekend. The resident was shocked that a private land owner was able to burn his pile of slash.

“If this happened in Europe, the owner would be fined,” the resident told The Nelson Daily.

However, the Southeast Fire Centre said these types of burns are common and effective at this time of the year.

“When no prohibitions are in effect, (Category 3 burning or slash pile) can help to eliminate a hazard of excess available fuels during the summer months,” the Southeast Fire Centre said. “It is the responsibility of each individual to ensure that they are burning in a safe, responsible manner that is in accordance with all regulations and restrictions.”

Before conducting a burn, the owner must obtain a registration number from BC Wildfire Service and follow numerous Wildfire Act regulations and only burn when weather is right.

These are some of the regulations in effect for Category 3 open fire burns:

  • material at the same time in three or more piles each not exceeding 2 metres in height and 3 metres in width
  • material in one or more piles each exceeding 2 metres in height or 3 metres in width
  • A fuel break (sometimes called a fire break — a change in fuel type or condition, typically a strip of land cleared to mineral soil to reduce the likelihood of the fire spreading) is established around
  • While the fire is burning and there is risk of escape, the person
  • maintains the fuel break
  • has an adequate fire suppression system available at the burn area
  • ensures the fire is watched and patrolled by a person equipped with at least one fire-fighting hand tool in order to prevent the fire from escaping

Full regulations can be obtained on the BC Wildfire website.