Open Burning Information

Open Burning

The snow has melted and the ground has dried sufficiently for many residents to begin spring cleaning their yards. Burning branches, leaves and grass is common and convenient when cleaning up after the winter, but open burning is only permitted with a valid permit obtained from the Town Office or the Fire Department.

With a Burn Permit you may burn your yard waste in an open fire on the ground if it is safe to do so, and if your fire complies with Town of Cardston Bylaw #1612: The Open Burning Bylaw. Please read the Basic Principles below.

Basic Principles for Burning

While burning may be the simplest way to clean up a site, you may be breaking the law.

Open burning, in a fire pit or not, can release pollutants, reduce visibility, create unpleasant odors and cause toxic contamination.

With this in mind, burning can still be an effective method to clean some of the debris from your yard, farm or work site. However, you should keep in mind that under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, burning certain materials is illegal.

Any time a person burns in the Town or County, that person

  • Must supervise the burn until it is fully extinguished,

  • Must have a method of extinguishing the fire on hand prior to the burn.

When Can You Burn?

  • Any person may build or ignite a burn so long as you have first obtained a valid Burn Permit from the Town of Cardston or Cardston County.

  • You may never burn if wind conditions exceed 30 kilometer per hour.

What Can You Burn?

Burnable materials include:

  • Brush and Fallen Trees and Seasoned Wood

  • Used power and telephone poles that do not contain preservatives

  • Wood or wood products not containing preservatives, glues or other chemical additives

  • Solid waste from tree harvesting

  • Straw, stubble, grass, weeds, leaves and tree pruning’s

  • Solid waste from post and pole operations, that do not contain wood preservatives

What Can’t You Burn?

Prohibited Debris Includes:

  • Animal manure

  • Pathological waste (waste from human health centres)

  • Wood or wood products containing wood preservatives, glues or other chemical additives (e.g., paper, newsprint, magazines, used shipping pallets, etc’.)

  • Waste materials from construction sites or household refuse

  • Rubber, including tires

  • Plastic, including baler twine

  • Oil

  • Containers that held pesticides, or any other chemicals

  • Plastic or rubber-coated materials including copper wire.

  • Animal carcasses or animal parts

Remember to Recycle

  • Many items that you may consider burning, can be recycled

  • Plastic, paper, cardboard and metal materials, used oil, tires and beverage containers along with any other items are recycled in Alberta. Call the Recycle Info Line at 1-800-463-8320 for local information.

  • It’s often more effective to chip and compost yard waste. Composting reduces household waste by up to 30 per cent.

For more information about open fires and obtaining a burn permit, please read the Town of Cardston Burning Bylaw.