The new Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (OBSCR) came into effect on September 15, 2019. Therefore, the regulations governing our work to abate fuel accumulations from harvesting operations changed at the start of the 2019 burning season.
Federation info bulletin: 2019.11.12_OBSCR _Info_to_WL
Two key pieces of information you will need to know:
- Venting index
- Smoke Sensitivity Zone where burning is planned
Custom Venting Forecasts for WLs (2020.10.26)
A key aspect of the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (OBSCR) is to ensure open burning only takes place when there is no or minimal risk to air quality. It is incumbent on WL licensees to ensure burning only occurs when there will be sufficient venting; i.e. smoke will disperse and dissipate. As a standard practice, it is strongly recommended that WL licensees and/or their contractors check to ensure the venting indices will be adequate to carry out a burn consistent with OBSCR requirements.
Licensees can obtain predictions of venting indices by using the Venting Index Forecast Interactive Map found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air/air-pollution/smoke-burning/ventilation-index. However, the interactive map is not always representative of a specific WLs location or situation. If that is the case, then a licensee is best advised to obtain a custom venting forecast (CVF).
There are two possible ways of obtaining a CVF
- Check with your local WL Association. It may have entered an agreement with MoE so it’s members can obtain a CVF for free*; or
- Contact Ben Weinstein, Senior Air Quality Meteorologist, Ministry of Environment – Weinstein@gov.bc.ca directly. A CVF is provided on a fee for service basis – usually $50 per request.
*If your Association has an agreement, then a WL licensee (or their consultant/ contractor) can
contact Ben Weinstein directly. They will need to provide:
- WL #;
- contact email & phone #; and
- # of piles and geographic location; i.e. latitude & longitude, and elevation.
Also, please be advised that once piles have been burnt, a licensee must immediately inform Ben so he can inform the forecasters to stop producing CVFs.