Henry Derish takes a break from picking up trash to dispose of pallet nails left behind on the Fraser River beach at Gill Road during a cleanup on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Greg Laychak/ Progress file)

Henry Derish takes a break from picking up trash to dispose of pallet nails left behind on the Fraser River beach at Gill Road during a cleanup on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Greg Laychak/ Progress file)

Chilliwack mayor says it’s time to scrap pallet fires

When people torch pallets they create air and water pollution and increase wildfire risks

It’s time to scrap pallet fires, according to Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove.

“Summer is here, but pallet fires belong in the past,” he said in a City of Chilliwack press release.

Pallets left free for the taking by local businesses are often burned illegally in environmentally sensitive areas, like on gravel bars or in bush surrounding Chilliwack. Then the burned remnants of those fires are left behind for others to clean up.

“There is a small group of hardworking volunteers who spend countless hours every year cleaning our recreational areas in the wake of pallet fires,” Popove said. “In addition to other litter and illegally dumped items, they have kept fish, wildlife, and us safe from thousands of pounds of nails. This is a heavy burden and we all need to help make it a little lighter.”

READ MORE: Pallet fires are burning out volunteers

Wood pallets are often chemically treated or painted. When burned, they create pollution that negatively affects respiratory health, increase risk of wildfires, and leave behind nails and chemical residues that are harmful to fish, wildlife and people.

The city’s open air burning bylaw, the provincial Environmental Management Act, and the Wildfire Act prohibit the burning of pallets in the City of Chilliwack. While the Chilliwack Fire Department responds to reports of pallet fires, many go unreported. In order to address this, the City also supports cleanup efforts.

“Local businesses can help these volunteers by ensuring pallets are managed responsibly so they don’t end up polluting our natural areas,” Popove said. “Residents can assist by avoiding campfires altogether or choosing untreated, local firewood and reporting pallet fires if they see them.”

More at chilliwack.com/stopdumping

READ MORE: Gate installed at Gill Road

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

City of Chilliwackwildfire smoke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. (File photo)
UPDATE: 2 cougars killed following attack in Harrison Mills

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

Abbotsford graphic designer pitches Flyers rebrand for AHL team

Alex Svarez suggests new affiliate team turns back the clock and brings back Flyers moniker

Mike Haire, a former vice-principal at W. A. Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford, began court proceedings on Monday, May 3 in New Westminster for two child pornography offences.
Trial paused for former Abbotsford vice-principal charged with child porn

Judge reserves decision on admissibility of evidence against Mike Haire

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen is now under investigation from the Vancouver Police Department following sexual misconduct allegations. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Vancouver police investigating sexual misconduct claims against Canucks’ Jake Virtanen

Abbotsford native remains on leave with the Vancouver Canucks following recent allegations

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read