The Coastal Fire Centre has lifted a ban on open fires within the south coastal region of B.C., but that doesn’t mean Port Moody residents can start gathering firewood. The City is reminding residents that fire pits and campfires are no longer allowed within municipal boundaries, due to a year-round ban on open fires.

Council adopted the ban on July 11, 2017, bringing Port Moody in line with all other Lower Mainland municipalities, where open air burning of wood is prohibited.

“Backyard fire pits and campfires can seem harmless but, in addition to creating a risk of fire in our neighbouring forests, the wood smoke that travels through the air contains pollutants that can penetrate deep into the lungs,” says Mayor Mike Clay. “Those pollutants can cause a variety of negative health effects, such as heart disease and cancer, and they’re also dangerous for people with asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory problems. Council has taken this step to protect the health of our residents.”

Previously, the City allowed fire pits or small campfires on private property for the purpose of cooking food or providing personal warmth. These types of open air fires are no longer permitted, and violation of the bylaw (Fire Prevention and Emergency Response, Bylaw Number 2835) carries a $250 fine. Residents may use CSA- or UL-rated outdoor heating devices, such as fire tables or fire pits that use liquid or gaseous fuels, as well as CSA- or UL-rated barbecues or cooking devices that use charcoal briquettes, or liquid or gaseous fuels.

“The ban on open fires will also help to address safety concerns by reducing the chance of accidental fires,” says Port Moody Fire Chief Ron Coulson. “By following the ban, Port Moody residents can help to protect their families and neighbours, and our natural environment.”

Under Bylaw 2835, the City also prohibits burning of green waste, garbage, rubber, plastic, and hazardous materials.