RESTRICTIONS on open burning of vegetative debris will remain in effect for Metro Vancouver until June 15.
Under these restrictions, no new burning of vegetative debris in the region may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires. This prohibition, first introduced on March 27 in collaboration with BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and BC Ministry of Health, has been extended on April 14 following a BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change announcement that the majority of open burning activities will be prohibited throughout the province.
In response to COVID-19, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) recommends implementing measures that help reduce excess air pollution in populated airsheds. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function, particularly as a result of vehicle emissions and biomass burning. Improvements to overall air quality may help to protect the whole population from COVID-19 and its potentially severe effects, says Metro Vancouver.
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.
Metro Vancouver will continue to consider all relevant information and may revise the open burning prohibition period as the current health situation dictates.
Find Mandatory Emission Curtailment Actions here.