It’s been more than six months since rural property owners in Langford have been able to burn yard waste. And now, the wait is going to be even longer.
City council voted Monday to extend a fire ban that prohibits open burning of yard waste to reduce the spread of smoke and protect those with respiratory issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Langford fire chief says he supports the prolonged ban.
“We don’t want to have a local practice that potentially causes the symptoms of COVID to exaggerate,” Chris Aubrey said. “Also, the fact that people are working from home and many people have other respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD, and so the effects of smoke on them are obviously aggravating their symptoms, as well.”
The municipality put the ban in place back in March before a provincial fire ban went into effect over the summer.
At Monday’s council meeting, officials also voted to provide a free community cleanup day for property owners to remove yard waste.
A date for the community cleanup has not been set but affected property owners will be contacted by the municipality.
“As we move into the wetter season, wildfire risk isn’t as much of something we have to worry about," said assistant fire chief Lance Caven. "But as we move into the drier period next time, if they don’t dispose of that fuel in a smart way and get it up off of their property, it could be an issue in the summer.”
Only those Langford residents with properties a half acre or larger are allowed to burn yard waste when fire bans are not in place.
This current fire ban does not prohibit campfires.