A new wood burning bylaw aims to cut down on wood smoke and burning inappropriate materials.

A new wood burning bylaw aims to cut down on wood smoke and burning inappropriate materials.

Wood burning bylaw formalizes restrictions to reduce smoke

City council has reintroduced a bylaw that bans burning garbage, wet wood, and bans external wood heating systems. Fines up to $10,000

A wood-burning bylaw that hasn’t been seen since 2008 reappeared on city radar at the Aug. 28 Revelstoke city council meeting. It had been abandoned after hitting snags in the adoption phase.

The smoke control bylaw says you can only burn seasoned firewood, pellets or fuel logs in your fireplace. It lays out what you can’t burn – garbage, painted lumber, plastic, rubber – and other things we all know we shouldn’t be burning in the fireplace.

The focus of the bylaw is air quality. Burning garbage, as we all know, is a health hazard. But so too is burning improperly dried wood, as it creates excessive amounts of smoke which causes respiratory and other health issues.

The bylaw also forbids outdoor wood-fired heating systems to heat buildings. Apparently there are a few of these systems in town. It doesn’t include backyard campfires or outdoor stoves used for recreational purposes.

The bylaw also says any new wood burning appliances must be permitted, inspected, certified and you must pay a fee to city hall for the permitting. That fee isn’t specified in the bylaw.

And there’s some teeth in the bylaw; it allows bylaw officers to enter your home to make sure you’re following the rules.

The penalty for contravening the bylaw? A fine of up to $10,000.

Council gave the bylaw first readings. To view it for yourself, see item 8b here.