Wood Smoke Reduction

Are wood burning appliances banned in the City of Courtenay?

No, wood burning appliances are not banned in the City of Courtenay. Residents are encouraged to keep wood burning appliances properly maintained, so they are available to use as a backup heat source in the event of a power outage or extreme weather.

Residents with wood burning appliances are permitted to keep them, or replace them with a new model. Installing wood burning appliances in newly constructed buildings is not permitted. This helps prevent PM2.5 from becoming worse as our community grows.

Wood burning appliances refer to home heating devices such as: open hearth fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, fireplace inserts, masonry heaters, and wood burning furnaces.

 Open Fireplaces Wood Inserts  Wood Stoves

What can I do to improve air quality if my home has a wood burning appliance?

Choose a cleaner heat source for your daily home heating needs. Wood burning heat sources emit significantly more PM2.5 than all other home heating options, even when using best burning practices. Certified wood burning appliances emit less PM2.5, but electric heat sources emit no PM2.5 at all.

If your home is equipped with a wood burning appliance, use it as a backup in the event of power outages, or extreme weather.

If your primary heat source is a wood burning appliance, or if your current home heating appliance doesn't produce enough heat, consider upgrading your home heating


What is the Province of BC doing to address slash burning and other types of open burning?  

The Province of BC introduced a new Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation in 2019 to regulate the open fire combustion of vegetative debris, also known as slash burning. This applies to land clearing, forestry operations, agriculture and many other types of vegetation burning.

This regulation requires that every reasonable alternative to burning must be explored; including chipping, mulching, or recycling. When there is no other option, burning must follow a number of more stringent rules and requirements near populated areas to reduce impacts to communities.

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