Open burning restrictions for high smoke sensitivity zones, including Quesnel, are being continued until June 15, and there will also be a Category 2 and 3 fire ban in place as of Monday, April 16 in B.C. (Monica Lamb-Yorski - Black Press Media)

Open burning restrictions for high smoke sensitivity zones, including Quesnel, are being continued until June 15, and there will also be a Category 2 and 3 fire ban in place as of Monday, April 16 in B.C. (Monica Lamb-Yorski - Black Press Media)

Restrictions on open burning in Quesnel extend into June

Quesnel is considered a high smoke sensitivity zone

Open burning restrictions for places like Quesnel that are considered high smoke sensitivity zones are being extended through to mid-June.

The provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with provincial public health partners, is continuing open burning restrictions for all high smoke sensitivity zones across the province until Monday, June 15. Quesnel is included as one of these zones.

Pursuant to the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation, no new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires. These restrictions do not apply to campfires.

Open burning restrictions were originally announced March 26 and were originally in place until April 15.

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

“There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function,” the release notes.

According to this release, 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 on our health care system; and improvements to air quality may help to protect the whole population from COVID-19 and its potentially severe effects.

“Evidence suggests air pollution from combustion sources is most strongly associated with increased risk of viral infection, particularly vehicle emissions and biomass burning,” states the news release. “At this time, the BCCDC recommends that open burning of biomass fuels be restricted in areas with high or moderate risk of population exposure to the resulting smoke.”

While the focus should remain on physical distancing from others to prevent the spread of infection and reduce the number of cases, keeping our air as clean as possible will also help to protect the population during this difficult period.

The announcement of the continuation of high smoke sensitivity zone burning restrictions came two days before a ban on most open burning activities across most of B.C. comes into effect Thursday, April 16 at noon.

The restrictions include Category 2 and 3 open fires. The ban also includes the use of fireworks, sky lanterns and the use of burn barrels or cases of any size or description.

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land within British Columbia unless specified otherwise, such as in a local government bylaw.

A Category 2 open fire is an open fire, excluding a campfire, that burns piled material no larger than two metres high and three metres wide, or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares (2,000 square metres) in size.

A Category 3 open fire is a fire that burns material in piles larger than two metres high and three metres wide, windrows, or grass larger than 0.2 hectares (2,000 square metres) in size. Category 3 fires also require a burn registration number.

Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found online at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.

— with files from Max Winkelman

READ MORE: B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16



editor@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

air qualityCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Quesnel School District board meetings are only open to the public through an online link. Many Trustees and directors reported in from their homes as well. (Quesnel Cariboo Observer file photo)
Quesnel School District celebrates student-teacher numbers

The district also heard about early plans for kindergarten registration at their January meeting

Practise and skill development are the only activities allowed for Quesnel minor hockey after restrictions were extended. In this file photo, Xavier Cannon, makes a save during practise at Quesnel Arena. (File Photo)
Quesnel Minor Hockey going strong despite COVID-19

The QDMHA communications director, was focusing on the positives when restrictions were extended

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File Photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Visit to Kluskus (Lhoosk’us):Part 2

As dark descended on this five-horse outfit, we found a place to camp

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in South Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Jim Hilton took a trip to Helmcken falls in Wells Gray park. (Jim Hilton Photo)
HILTON: Forests and human health, Part one

What can Quesnel take away from worldwide forestry programs

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read