Taylor burn bylaw loosens campfire restrictions

Taylor councillors gave three readings Tuesday to a revised burn bylaw that loosens restrictions on campfires.

The bylaw, targeted mainly at Class 2 and 3 open fires, had called for 20-foot setbacks between fire pits and buildings, property lines, trees and hedges, fences, roads, and overhead wires. That's been brought down to six feet after a review by council's protection committee.

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"The protection committee is happy with this version," Coun. Brent Taillefer said at Tuesday's council meeting. 

Under the bylaw, residents will need a permit from the district for any Class 2 and 3 fires inside the municipality, and fire officials will have the power to assess burn and site conditions before a burn is allowed to begin.

The district began drafting the burn bylaw this spring to help prevent the threat of wildfire.

The district was put on high alert in 2016 when record-breaking heat and high winds kicked up a massive wildfire on the South Taylor Hill overlooking the community. In April of this year, a grass fire got out of control during a windy day in the same area, stoking another wave of early season wildfire fears.

The new bylaw will be formally adopted at a later meeting, and does not apply to Taylor's fire protection zone outside its municipal borders.

The regional district must first adopt a similar bylaw of its own to give firefighters the power to issue permits and inspect properties in the rural areas around Taylor, Fire Chief Steve Byford said.

Click here to read the bylaw.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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