FAQs

What number do I call if I need to talk to the Fire Department, but it's not an emergency?

Call 250-352-3103 to reach our office. We have someone answering the phones 24 hours a day. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call.

Is backyard burning allowed? I have branches and yard waste I want to get rid of.

Generally, no, backyard burning is not allowed. At the discretion of the Fire Chief, however, a brief period of time may be opened up to the citizens to participate in a limited backyard burn, usually in spring. Intended to mitigate build-up of hard to remove fuel, it is not a guaranteed annual occurrence. 

When backyard burning IS allowed, citizens must come to the Fire Hall to apply for a temporary burn permit. Burning without a permit may result in a fine or a fee for service. Applicants must meet certain basic safety and burn material requirements prior to a permit being issued to an address. Once a permit has been issued, owners must call the fire hall prior to lighting their pile of yard debris. Ths helps establish if the day’s conditions are favourable for burning, and helps avoid the arrival of a fire truck to your address. There is a $10 fee for the permit, payable by cash or cheque at the fire hall.

The Fire Regulations and Fire Prevention bylaw can be found on the "Bylaws" page of this website.

I’d like to have a campfire in my backyard (or light my portable fireplace). Is this permitted?

This time the answer is "No, with exceptions."

Generally, fires outside a dwelling are not allowed in the city, including backyard campfires and backyard fireplaces. Camp fires are not permitted, nor are fires in “chimineas” and other portable fireplaces. The exceptions are CSA-approved appliances which have been cleared by the Fire Chief. To achieve this clearance, first ensure that the appliance bears the CSA mark of approval and then contact the fire hall.

My smoke alarm “chirps,” what should I do?

Look at your owner's manual. Usually this is the sign of a weak battery.

My smoke alarm goes off for no reason. Why?

Often the cause of these false alarms is spiders and insects in the detectors. Fruit flies are notorious for getting into the detectors. Use a vacuum to remove them. You may need to do this several times a year.

Do I need to contact you to install a wood stove or fireplace?

No. You should contact the City of Nelson's Building Department regarding installation guidelines for wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

Is the Fire Department involved in the removal of heating oil tanks?

No. Go to the BC Ministry of the Environment website and search "residential heating oil storage tank.”  You'll find a link to a PDF document which explains all the details and responsibilities.

Am I allowed to use fireworks in the city?

Fireworks are only permitted in the City of Nelson when used under the direction of a federally certified Display Fireworks Supervisor, and as permitted by the Fire Chief. Even the lighting small, family-sized fireworks is not allowed within city limits. In Nelson, fireworks have been known to cause serious personal harm and even house fires. If you want to see fireworks, Nelson's firefighters put on a professional show for the entire city's enjoyment every Canada Day (July 1st). 

Why do I sometimes get connected to the Fire Hall when I dial Nelson Hydro, Public Works, City Hall or Nelson Police Department?

After regular work hours we answer the phones for certain City departments. If a call out to Public Works or Nelson Hydro is required, for instance, we dispatch them to the scene. In the case of Nelson City Police, when their phone lines are all in use the overflow is channeled to the fire hall's phones.

Do you have any openings for auxiliary or career firefighters? Are you accepting applications?

Check the Recruitment section of our site, or look for advertisements in the local newspapers. You are always welcome to call the fire hall at 250-352-3103 or come by to ask more questions about qualification requirements.

Meta Navigation

Pay Now

Pay Now

Pay Online