Nelson Fire & Rescue Services Chief Len MacCharles is encouraging residents to do their part to reduce the risk of a wildfire spreading through our city.

Up to 90% of buildings lost during an ensuing wildfire are due to ember showers where hot embers are carried in the wind and land on to homes up to 2 kms from the actual fire. These embers can ignite dead branches, dried plants, leaves and other dry fuels found in yards. By removing these ground fuels property owners can better protect their homes and their neighbours’ homes. Don’t forget the dried leaves and twigs in your eaves troughs. Waiting to see if a wildfire happens will be too late!

To support FireSmart principles and the removal of deadfall, woody debris and dried yard waste around homes, City of Nelson Public Works is offering a FREE YARD WASTE DROP OFF on Saturday May 20th and May 27th at the old City of Nelson Transfer Station on Lakeside Dr.

Alternatively, residents can take their yard waste to the Grohman Narrows Transfer Station. Charges are $5 per load for loads up to 2.5 cubic metres and $50 for large loads and $25/tonne if chipped.

Nelson Fire & Rescue Services is also issuing BURNING PERMITS for a short period as an option to ridding yards of woody debris. The Chief has approved a burn period subject to weather and local fire conditions beginning Thursday May 4, 2017 to May 15, 2017 (inclusive). This burn period is for the purpose of reducing non-compostable woody debris, which is clean, dry unstained, untreated wood resulting from property clearing. This does not include the burning of vegetative matter such as leaves, grass clippings, vegetable stalks or similar. Burning of woody debris requires a permit and is subject to the following conditions (excerpt from Bylaw No. 3268, 2014):

  1. a competent person:
  2. must be at all times present and in charge of the fire while burning or smoldering;
  3. must be provided with efficient appliances and equipment to prevent the fire from getting beyond control or causing damage or becoming dangerous to life or property;
  • must ensure that such fire is completely extinguished;
  1. no burning maybe carried out within 5 metres from any forest land, Buildings, structures, commercial or industrial property or any Combustibles;
  2. burning may only be carried out during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.;
  3. only clean, dry, solid and untreated wood and Woody Debris collected or accumulated from the Owner or Occupant’s land on which the burning will take place may be burned;
  4. no pile of burning Woody Debris may exceed 1.5 metres in diameter or 1 metre in height;
  5. accelerants, building materials and non-organic material are not permitted and may not be burned;
  6. despite the issuance of a permit, no burning maybe carried out if:
  7. it would be unsafe to do so due to climatic conditions or any other hazard;
  8. if the air quality venting index is not good or is otherwise deemed by the Ministry of Environment or Ministry of Health to be not suitable for burning; and
  9. the Owner or Occupant must provide proof of fire insurance in a form and with content and deductible satisfactory to the Fire Chief;

Permits must be acquired in person, at Nelson Fire & Rescue Services, located at 919 Ward Street, and payment for the $10 fee can be paid by cash or cheque at the time of issuance and MUST PROVIDE PROOF OF FIRE INSURANCE FOR THE PROPERTY.

Residents are required to follow the Ministry of Environment’s Venting Index guidelines ( (or call 1-888-281-2992)

and only burn on days when venting is listed as “Good” on the day of burning to minimize any accumulation of smoke-caused air pollution. Residents are also required to report to Nelson Fire & Rescue on the days they intend to burn.

Contravention of Bylaw No. 3268 may result in suspension or revocation of the permit and/or a fine or fee for service.

The Corporation of the City of Nelson Bylaw No. 3268 can be found via the City of Nelson Website.