Burning Regulations & Permits


Halloween Burning Permit

  • $50 permit fee
  • Permit will be issued by SARC (411 Dunsmuir Street)
  • Valid for October 31 from 6:00 pm to 11:59 pm

Guy Fawkes Burning Permit

  • $50 permit fee
  • Permit will be issued by SARC (411 Dunsmuir Street)
  • Valid for November 5 from 6:00 pm to 11:59 pm

Residential Backyard Burning (burn piles) Permits for November

  • No Fee for this year. 
  • Please call 250-753-7311 for a permit.
  • Read conditions below to see if you qualify.


Outdoor burning regulation - Quick Guide

Burning Regulation_prohibited 

Burning Regulation_permitted 

Residential backyard burning (burn piles)

Burning permits may be issued for an Open Burning fire on a lot that is one (1) acre in size or greater OR lots located on Protection Island, under the following conditions:

  • A burning permit is required. A permit can be obtained by calling the Nanaimo Fire Rescue Department at 250-753-7311.
  • Burning is only permitted from sunrise to sunset, Fridays and Saturdays, during the months of April and November.
  • Fire must be on the property owned by the individual who wants to burn.
  • The permittee shall keep a competent person at all times in charge of such fire until such time as the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Only organic yard waste materials such as garden refuse and prunings may be burned.
  • Burning of wooden construction material, stumps, land clearing materials/debris or household garbage is not permitted.
  • Fires shall not exceed 1.5 meters across in size; shall be hand fed and shall be located at least 3 meters from any combustibles.


  • Air quality venting information is available at the BC Air Quality Website (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/ ).  Nanaimo Fire will reference this site at 4 PM on Thursday for Friday’s decision to burn, and 4 PM on Friday for Saturday's decision to burn. 
  • IF burning is cancelled for a specific day this information will be posted via twitter @nanaimofire.

Residential outdoor cooking fires

Permits are not required for residential outdoor cooking fires, under these conditions:

  • Fire is within a device or barrier and is contained from spreading
  • Container does not exceed 24 inches in diameter
  • Burn only clean, dry wood or briquettes
  • Fire duration is not more than 2 hours


Barbecues, grills or smokers fuelled by:

  • Liquid (naphtha, kerosene, etc.)
  • Gas (propane, natural gas, etc.)
  • Solid (charcoal briquettes)
  • Electricity
  • Portable or fixed campfire devices that are fuelled by propane or natural gas

The burning of debris from land clearing is prohibited.

Any fires that generate persistent, offensive smoke shall be ordered extinguished.

Other fires

For other kinds of fires, like ceremonial, campground or for a special event (such as a bonfire), you will also need a permit.

Download burning permit for other fire types


Contact Us

General Fire Information 580 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 6E2

Last updated: March 9, 2021

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