Open burning ban in effect until April 15


All open burning has been banned in the Gulf Islands and other high smoke sensitivity zones across B.C. for the next few weeks due to COVID-19.

The ban comes into effect today (March 26) and will continue until Wednesday, April 15.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with provincial public health partners has declared the restriction in several areas of the province.

The ban means no new fires to burn outdoor or land-clearing debris may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires.

“As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C. continue to increase, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control recommends implementing measures that help to reduce excess air pollution in populated airsheds across the province,” states a government press release. “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.

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